The Christmas Card List

I mailed my Christmas card order to Saturn Press the other day; I’m sure the beautiful letterpress cards are making their way from the coast of Maine to my post office box right now. My list is prepared and I’m manufacturing sentences and stories in my head for the 50 or so people to whom I send cards.    Even with this level of preparation, I’ve never been able to get my cards out before our family friend, Mrs. Kay.

I’ve known Mrs. Kay my whole life; when I was a Girl Scout, she was one of the troop “helpers” and she chaperoned our regular “trip to the nursing home.”  A group of us would go to the library, pick up books, and then bring them to a local nursing home.  I loved the library and books and I was familiar with being around older people from spending more than a few hours every week sitting on the porch with my Nana.  Bringing books to the nursing home was an activity very much to my liking.

We would caravan to the nursing home in two cars; I always liked to ride in Mrs. Kay’s Volkswagen Beetle.  When we arrived, we would “buddy up” and visit the nice old folks, books in our hands.  Like the carnival barker I can be, I loved bustling about with books and conversation, wearing my Girl Scout beret.

Getting a card from Mrs. Kay always reminds me of this enjoyable sacrificial memory.  When I write my cards, I like to think that perhaps I am delivering a little book to someone who has forgotten to read.  I sometimes even wear a beret when I write them!

I got Mrs. Kay’s card yesterday and this means it’s time to get my Christmas card factory cranked up.

(Vintage Kristin Elliott cards, designed by Hattie Wentworth and made in Beverly, MA, circa unknown)

Although relaxing for me, writing story-full cards and letters may not be to everyone’s liking this time of year; I’ve promised readers and myself that December will be a time of slowing down.  Here are five other things which help me disconnect from the manufactured madness some call “the most wonderful time of the year.”

Power Down
Regular readers of this blog know I have a teeny tiny sports talk radio addiction.  Starting on December 1, 2012, I’ll crank it down a few notches and limit my WEEI sports radio listening to “The Whiner Line,” “The Planet Mikey Show,” and Celtics games.  No “Dennis & Callahan,” no “Mut & Merloni,” and no “Big Show.”

This year, I’m going to try to cut my “online” time in half as well.  My strategy for that one is evolving, but my idea is that by diminishing media influences and spending less time online, it’s easier to “power down” instead of “ramping up.”  I don’t have to do and be everything the news puppets tell me to do and be.  It’s really OK to attend just one holiday party this year.

As contradictory as it seems, by “powering down” on some things, I think I’ll have more time to

Exercise More

My friend Jaxon and I have talked about investing in snow shoes this year so we can keep moving on days when a normal walker might be forced inside.

Travel through time
I like the past; some people say I’m living in it with my dreams of moving home and being some sort of suburban farm girl.  Laugh at me, I don’t care.  I like to read old books and magazines; sometimes, I even listen to old radio broadcasts and watch old movies.  It’s interesting and informative to understand how other people lived at other times.  It slows me down.

I know this sounds like time travel and maybe it’s similar, but sometimes I pull out old pictures and papers and remember people who aren’t with me anymore.  When I pull out an old card from one of my aunts or my Nana and examine the handwriting, I’m quiet and thoughtful.  Since there’s so little daylight in December, this time of remembering is beneficially provocative.  Sometimes, old hurts come up and then I’m reminded of other things.  Like forgiveness.

There’s a certain box in my spare bedroom here at The Coop with memorabilia from an old love affair.  I can see the manila envelope in my mind’s eye; it’s wrapped up with a gold ribbon and I’m pretty sure there are some old love letters in it.  Thinking about it brings a little tear to my eye and a little stab to my heart.  I’m going to go through the contents of that envelope anyway and I’m going to forgive that man.  I’m going to pray that he forgives me for any hurts I may have caused him.  Then, I’m going to put those letters and memorabilia in the pile of things I throw in Herman’s wood stove.  It doesn’t mean I will forget him; it just means I forgive him.


I’m so happy I’m on Mrs. Kay’s Christmas card list.  It helps me to do every little thing on my own list.

Who and what is on your Christmas card list this year?

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