I didn’t send Christmas cards this year. It’s the first time in my adult life that I haven’t sent a card with a letter. That’s 8 years if you’re counting. I’ve been an adult for a few more than that – but I count my wedding day as the date of becoming a grown up.
I’ve been busy. I’m about to move. My life is crazy. It’s the excuse I’m going to use. And it’s all true. But not any more busy or crazy or hectic than your life or the lives of the 7 friends who sent me Christmas cards.
7 lovely, wonderful friends took time out of their schedules to ask me for my new address – even though they know it will change again in a couple weeks. 7 perfectly busy friends took a moment to find a card and write a true sentiment on its pages. 7 fantastic friends thought of me this season as they sealed the envelope and placed the stamp on the cover. 7 people cared enough to send me wishes in the mail – not through a social media site.
I feel like a heel.
I’ve always loved holiday cards. Mom even let us draw designs on the edges of her Christmas letter one year. Triangle trees and boxed packages filled the sides of that paper. It must have brought smiles to those on the receiving end. I ran out to the mail-box every day that year just waiting to find a letter in return.
I still do.
I usually have my Christmas letter planned weeks – maybe months in advance. But this year – I couldn’t do it. The thought of writing a letter, buying stamps and finding cute cards stressed me out. I made the official decision to cancel cards just a few days ago.
“Leslie,” I said to myself, “stop feeling bad about this! It’s no big deal. No one even knows your rental address. OK – 7 people know but that’s it. Those are your good friends. They’ll understand. Stop worrying about it. Don’t stress yourself out. You’ll write a Christmas letter in 2014.”
And then I went to the mail-box.
Waiting for me inside its cold tin walls was a group of more cards – lost cards – 5 of them. They had yellow – forward to sender – stickers smacked on the front. The very sight made me smile like the Grinch.
And then I felt like a heel – again.
“These dear friends didn’t know I had moved. Yet they still took time out of their busy schedule to send me well wishes. They must have sent these days ago,” I thought. Then I panicked.
“What if more letters are coming?”
Each day since I’ve received at least one holiday greeting with a forward sticker placed on its front. And each time I open the mail-box I feel giddy with joy and disappointed in myself for not sending a card back.
But is the guilt enough? Will it encourage me to find the perfect card with the perfect note? Will it convince me to buy the stamps and find time to address each one? Will I change my mind and send cards before the New Year?
Instead, look for an e-mail, text, or social media message from me. It will include my new address so you can find me again next year!
Here’s wishing you and yours a holiday season full of peace, love, hope – and a mail-box filled with letters!