There is one holiday tradition that I hold dear - Christmas Cards. In these days of texts, emails, and e-cards, I feel the least I can do is take the time and effort to send a pen and ink, authentic paper Christmas card to my family and friends. At this point I long for the obnoxious letters included in cards I received years ago touting the accomplishments of the sender's children. You know the ones, when everything from an Olympic medal to a Fullbright Scholarship to being the 3rd string short stop on the local Little League team was regaled in lengthy text. As tedious as those were to read, I found the ones lamenting over every ache and pain, Doctor's visit, and medical prognosis to be the worst.
I think this tradition on my part goes back to Daddy's drug store. In the 60's and 70's, he was the only Hallmark dealer in our town. Each year around September, the Hallmark Representative would come to our home. He would have with him this huge (24 x 18 inch) dark green loose leaf book. Each page had a different card attached with the accompanying envelope. Mama and Daddy would sit with him and select the cards that would be sold in the store that year. Also, Mama would place an order for the personalized card our family would send. Later that week, Daddy would let his customers know that the book was in the store and they could order their personalized cards.
As dear a place in my heart as Hallmark has, I generally try to find some unique card to send each year, be it by Hallmark or not. I usually start in late September looking for the right card. Some years they are handmade, others they have been designer and fairly pricey. This year I found some precious ones that were not that expensive. After all, it is the thought (and effort and follow through) that counts. My list rarely changes. I may add new friends I have made this past year. OK, I'll admit that I may drop a name or 2 off the list. But only if I no longer want to encourage that relationship. Fear not, if for some reason you do not receive a card from me this year, no doubt it got lost in the mail.
Also, each year I look forward to receiving holiday greetings in the US Mail from friends and family. For some, it is the only time I hear from them. So my holiday season begins each year as I sit and address my cards. Perhaps I'm old fashioned, but there are some traditions I feel should be carried on.