Friday, December 14, 2012

Sticktoit Got Me Roundtoit: Oh, What a Feeling!

I'm feeling pretty good this morning.  

Last night, I didn't even have to scream over the TV commercials to announce to Bill that I had just sealed the envelope for the last Christmas card.  

Then came the disclaimer ". . . 'til someone sends me one out of the blue, that is."

I can handle sending out an extra card or two any time that initial big stack of stamped,  addressed envelopes dwindles to zip.

With every year of late, comes great ambivalence with the Christmas card project.  

"Maybe I'll just quit sending them," I think, "but I sure do like hearing from the people who still send them to me."

Plus, they're pretty---even the ones from Wal-Mart. 

And, of course, I'm very aware that not everyone I know or like or those who actually like me will send me a Christmas card.  

Take one of my dearly beloved longtime friends, for example.

For years, she had a habit of getting her cards out by Valentine's Day.  

One year it may have even been after Easter when I opened the mailbox to find her latest card ever for that particular year.

Well, this year I'm still waiting for her card-----not last year's but the one from the year before.  

Thank God she has come to visit me this year,  or I'd never know what's going on in her life.  

I failed to remind her during our visit that she hadn't sent me a Christmas card for two years.  

That's because last year I decided not to send her one either.

Not cuz I didn't like her.  I simply started a new routine last year for determining who got cards and who didn't.  

I kept the basket of envelopes from the year before and used it for the 2011 list.  

Thus started Marianne's Golden Rule of Christmas Cards:  Send only unto others as they have sent unto you. 

In our busy lives, I think we've all grown ambivalent about the wisdom of sitting for hours labeling, stamping, folding the letter, writing a quick personal note, licking the envelope and watching the pile of "to be mailed" grow while the pile of "yet to be writtens" diminishes ever so slowly.

The "to be mailed" pile always makes me feel good cuz it gets tall really fast, once I insert the card and the letter.  Fat envelopes fill up space quickly, giving a false but welcome sense of accomplishment.

Anyway, the Internet has just plain done a number on Christmas card decisions.  Our societal expectations still inflict enough guilt,  but the efficiency (timewise and costwise) of sending our greetings via email is becoming far too tempting. 

I have almost succumbed to that practice, just as I did years ago upon deciding that a Christmas letter with the same information sent to everyone WOULD NOT LAND ME IN HELL.

So I've written "the letter" every year for about the last 15.  

And, every year for about the past five, I have considered the potential for eternal damnation if I do throw in the towel and nix the practice of sending cards to at least those who send to me.
  At this point, I must ask anyone reading this who has not received or will not receive a card from the Lovestead to refrain from judgment.   I love you just as much even if you have never sent me a card.

The day will come, maybe even before my demise, that the envelopes kept from each year's batch of Christmas cards will diminish---either by attrition (often called 'death') or through pure laziness.

And, maybe some day I can join the rest of the crowd and simply push a button to send my holiday greetings to friends.

At this point, however, I'm so glad to have stuck to mostly the old-fashioned way.  

I'm also thrilled on this Friday morning 11 days out from Christmas to have gotten round to it and to have those cards all ready to send over land and sea to the recipients' real mailboxes. 

Now, it's time to stress a little more about all the cookies that need baking and the house that needs cleaning and the presents to buy and . . . . 

Happy Friday.  I've got to get round to something else.  And, stick to it, of course.

1 comment:

Word Tosser said...

I have the same system... I came up with it the year after I retired... which seems odd, as you would think I would have more time to do more.. but the rule is.. no card last year? you get no card this year.. to have a couple slip up on me.. is not too bad.. it is the ones who decide to give us a gift this year.. that didn't in the past.. that gets me going grrrrrrrrrr... I had got my friends down to a "card only" please, give the gifts to your family ..please...... only to have some one break the rule..