Today I’m thinking about how in life, sometimes, not always, you get what you give.
There have been times in my life where I apparently had nothing but time. Scrapbooks, photo albums, hand crafted Christmas cards, and all manner of hand written letters. Who remembers hand written letters? What a wonderful thing to go to the mailbox and get a letter you’ve been hoping for. I wanted to gift that to the people I adored. And I did.
Now I struggle to do anything with that extra measure of hand-crafted caring. It takes a lot of time, you know, which seems like the most precious commodity these days.
Rewind about 5 years. I sent out about 50 Christmas cards. All hand crafted. I used a paper cutter to cut red and green card stock in envelope size rectangles, used a corner punch to punch decorative photo holder trim into the cards. Mounted 50 individually selected photos. Printed a brief greeting and cut and glued them on the back of each. Then hand addressed each envelope, adding a stamp and sent them through the post.
It was fun. I enjoy that sort of thing but I also selfishly relish getting cards in return. I love the updates, pictures, and really just seeing how many I would get.
In 2016 I was just wrecked and didn’t have it in me. The Christmas spirit. And you know, it didn’t come back.
Christmas sometimes feels like a lot of work. You get all the decorations and lights out and for what. For teenagers who don’t care about it? What was once tradition and magic became a fight to have them help me.
And I was busy too and didn’t really want to do it either. Work started ramping up and I enrolled in school. I don’t think I did cards in 2017. I don’t remember.
2018 I was in a fully committed relationship again and getting ready to move. No Christmas cards.
2019 I was on the verge of getting married. My time was spent on planning and sending invitations instead of Christmas cards.
Now it’s 2020 and the year has been needy and greedy and I just don’t have it in me again. Just trying to keep my head above the water. Just trying to keep breathing and putting one foot in front of the other each day. Hence, no Christmas cards again.
And I know everyone has had a rough year, you know, so I don’t blame them for not sending cards either. I really don’t. But it makes me sad to not get them.
I’ve gotten exactly 2 from friends. Sad to get more from service industries than friends. I got one from my financial advisor, insurance agent, and realtor. Ok. My realtor is a friend of mine so that counts two ways I suppose.
I think about the people I lost touch with this year. Two or three folks I would see fairly regularly but just haven’t because of the pandemic. I miss going to Jazzercise and to my aesthetician and coffee and lunch dates. Happy hours.
It’s not the places or food I miss (though I do miss those too) but it’s the people. I miss face to face conversations. Laughing. Reminiscing. Hearing and telling stories.
So now we’re getting to the heart of it. It’s not the Christmas cards. That’s just the start of it.
I’m not sure how long things are going to be like this and what the new normal willl be after. We’ve all just lived through a very dystopian year and it’s still going.
I keep saying “2021 will be better” but that’s just me trying to pep myself up. I want to believe it. I need a little magic of Christmas here.
Anyway. I’m cutting short because I’m short on time today. I’m going to give my dad a Zoom lesson remotely and don’t know how this will go.
Peace and love,