Yesterday, Rusty brought home our mail from the Bible college, which included three Christmas cards from friends. With the Christmas holidays and then his trip to Kumanii, it had been awhile since he had been able to pick up our mail, so there’s no telling how long those cards had been sitting in his box. But I was ridiculously happy to receive them, even if it was two weeks after Christmas.
When I decorated the house for Christmas, I hung up a length of ribbon on a hook by our front door and clipped a bunch of little clothespins to it so I could display our Christmas cards. But the weeks went by… and Christmas got closer… and still there were no Christmas cards to clip to the ribbon. It made me kind of sad. So eventually, when I was cutting up old Christmas cards to make gift tags, I pulled out a few of the pretty ones and put them up just so that empty ribbon wouldn’t keep staring me in the face day after day.
I’ll be the first to acknowledge that we haven’t exactly made it easy for people to keep up with us through the years with all the moving around we’ve done. It seems like every year, we’re changing our address again. But I don’t think it’s only that. There seems to be this growing trend to go digital with our correspondence, and that has extended even to Christmas cards, birthday greetings, and thank-you notes. Maybe I’m just old-fashioned, but I just don’t think an email or an e-card or seeing a digital copy of someone’s Christmas card on Facebook is quite the same as a handwritten note or a card you can display. The digitized versions lack that personal touch, that sense that someone thought enough of you to take the time and effort to write a note, to find out your address, and to get it in the mail.
I know finances are a big reason why people cut back on sending Christmas cards or don’t send them at all. And we have had to cull our list pretty severely through the years to include only family, close friends, and supporters. Even so, our list still includes almost 100 names! We actually don’t send Christmas cards; we send New Year’s cards, a carry-over from our days in Japan. And sometimes, they don’t go out until the end of January (or February). But we do try to do them every year. I think there have only been a couple of years during the course of our marriage where we haven’t sent anything.
If you are one of the few who sent us a Christmas card this year, please know how much it was appreciated! Your card is still displayed proudly by our front door, and if you sent a picture, it will find a place on our refrigerator eventually.