Friday, December 4, 2009

Advent Calendar - December 4 - Christmas Cards

My Mama was perhaps the Queen of sending Christmas cards when I was a kid! I can see her now, fully finishing her Christmas card list by Halloween, and then spending her evenings after work working on addressing those cards, and signing them, as well as making sure each and every one had a holiday letter tucked neatly inside. And Mama didn’t send a “form letter” [one letter sent to everyone!] Mama made sure each and every one had a personal letter tucked in!

Way back in the day when postage was only 8 cents a letter [oh, I can go back further!], Mama spent a small fortune to mail out her cards and letters each year! She never bought very expensive cards, the cost incurred was generally the postage!

Each year, as the Christmas cards came pouring in from sights all over the globe, Mama would proudly display the many cards in our living room. I can remember when Mama used to get anywhere from 400-500 cards a year! Our living room would be filled with cards in baskets, and pinned to the wall in a shape of a tree, or on the table. It was so much fun to look at each one!.

Mama didn’t keep any of the cards, except from one year to the next, so that she could build her next year’s Christmas card list from them. Her motto was: If they sent me a card, I’ll send them one next year! The following year Mama would use the cards to make some sort of Christmas craft from. One year she made large Santa slippers to fill with candies and treats for the kids in our Sunday School class at church. One year she made Christmas bowls to give to her co-workers filled with homemade candies. And one year, she made Christmas tote bags, crocheting the cards together with yarn to fill with a fruitcake for each of her co-workers.

Today, I send out a minimum of cards. I can never find any that truly reflect my husband and I. [I’m not sure what that would be even… but I always say I would know it if I saw it!] My list grows smaller each year!

I do display each card I receive, however! Quite proudly. I love to receive the cards, and read the little poetry inside. Mostly, I love knowing that my family and friends thought enough to send me that little bit of Christmas cheer!

As far as I know, there aren’t any cards that have been passed down from any of my ancestors. If there are any existences, no one has told me of them! I know my Mama’s parents sent out cards. I don’t believe my Daddy’s did, though; there was never enough money for that kind of a luxury in their home.

Perhaps I should keep one or two of my favorite received cards each year, as a remembrance for my descendants one day to enjoy? I hadn’t thought of that! One day, I hope there is a great-great-great-granddaughter who shows the desire to learn more about me! I would like to leave behind some things for her, to make the road a little easier to know me. Are you preparing for your descendants???

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