Let me preface the following with a few statements. First, I love Christmas cards. I love getting them in the mail. Second, I love the cards themselves. They are mini works of art. I love that someone took a moment to include me in their ritual of sending cards.
I used to send Christmas cards to every person in my address book. You know. The address book in which folks used to keep “snail mail” addresses. Every year, a couple of boxes of cards, signed, stuffed in envelopes, addressed, stamped, dumped at the post office.
When we first married, I enjoyed the process. Picking out the right cards, addressing the envelopes, making the trip to the post office.
After a few years, it became just another item to do on the Christmas list.
Then, it became a chore. I felt obligated to send cards.
Next, it became a burden. After all, I still received many cards in the mail each year.
Finally, I stopped doing them. And the feelings of guilt set in. We were still receiving cards by the bucket full.
After a few years, I got over that. I realized I have a choice. I can choose to participate in whatever I want. I owe no one for anything. I am grateful for the love and support I have received from friends and loved ones. I still receive love and support from many, including him and the children and Him.
But, I have given my love and support over and above. At times, nearly losing my health, sanity and economic stability to do so. I still have love and support to give. Resilience. My friend and I spoke of this today. Mother instilled resilience in me. He reinforces it. Life continues. Through illness, death, dismemberment, divorce, parting of the ways, life continues. Meals need to be cooked. Washing has to be done. The light bill has to be paid. The garden needs planting and the grass needs cutting. People pass into and out of our lives. Some are here for many long years. Some for a few short months. Life continues.
No one owes me anything. I have given whatever I can of service, time and money from the feeling of love and a bone deep desire to serve. Parents, children, other family, friends, church, co-workers, neighbors. Whoever He put in my path to touch, I have tried. I have failed many times. But, I have succeeded some, too. I am choosier now about what I will agree to do. I want to be able to commit completely and in depth to things I do these days.
Someday I may resume sending Christmas cards. When I do, the list will be select. I will send out of love and a desire to express it. If someone is sending cards to me or anyone else, I just hope they are sending them out of genuine positive feelings and not out of guilt or obligation. If it doesn’t make one happy, don’t do it. There are enough chores that must be done in this life without this being one. Of course, this sentiment could translate to a million other things our society members do as well.
“I just want you to be happy.” Ten thousand times he has told me that over the last nearly 32 years.
So, I say to my reader, if sending Christmas cards makes you happy, please continue. Please don’t be offended at mine missing from your mail box. Should I receive one from you, I will send good thoughts your way and prayers upward on your behalf. If I find out you have a need, I will try to help. That will have to be my Christmas greeting to you for now.
In a musty trunk, my Grandmother’s and Father’s sentiments to me are stored. “Dear Molly Darling” begins one from my Granny Arie……………..