We’re in the Christmas season. It’s that time of year when all types of, out of the ordinary, events change our daily routine. Take Christmas cards for example. I can remember my grandfather, sitting at his desk with a pile of envelopes on either side of him. That was in the 50’s, long before mail merge was even thought of, so hand addressed, hand signed, and hand written personal notes, was the action of the day. A preparation time line of Thanksgiving into the first week of December, was typical to get the greetings in the mail.
In ten years, the number of addressees doubled, companies offered machine signed cards, personalization became a thing of the past. Ten years after that, and your favorite insurance company, and donation-seeking veterans group was sending you personalized return address labels.
As I said, my grandfather addressed all of their cards, my mother addressed all of the theirs and LUCKILY my wife does all of ours! If she didn’t, you wouldn’t know I still existed. Well, maybe one or two of you might.
As we became less personal in our seasonal cards, we tried to become more personal by including the “year-end” summary letter. We have been including and receiving the letters for about 15-20 years.
It’s normally fun to read the summaries. However some people don’t know how to summarize, hence you get the 2 page, fine print, needing magnifying glass to read, letters, which include all the information from the family diary.
I have stated in other blogs that I’m a Type A person, but as I age, I’m sliding more toward Type B. The great thing about this, is I can slide to which ever attitude/action, fancies my mind at the moment, I’m not stuck in one place.
There are two of us from church that are responsible for about 33 families. Gratefully, the other person is A LOT more Type A than me. She had purchased 33 Christmas card, hand addressed them, hand written the return address, included a personal salutation in each, with a personal message, affixed the stamps and signed her name. Then she gave them to me to add my signature and mail them. Great!! But, there was a middle step between signing and mailing. I had to LICK 33 envelopes! I’ve never had to lick so many envelopes before. My tongue stuck to the roof of my mouth.
Speaking of letters, we been getting about one for every five cards we’ve received, I understand not getting letters from people we see often and I also understand that sending letters is now taking on a connotation of bragginess or wordiness, therefore the diminished letters.
We got a card this week from an across-the-country relative of my wife. It was the usual short signature with a letter. I never read the letters from this relative (boring), but my wife made a shocking exclamation when she unfolded this letter. It turned out to be a copy of a death certificate!
Talk about a year-ending summary! That put a new twist on the Christmas letters.