Grandma kept a special address book for Christmas cards. In it held the addresses of most everyone she knew in the last 40 or 50 years. Some were crossed off due to death. Others had new last names. I never saw her scratch out a name in the fashion of "unlike".
All the cards Grandma received were placed in a table top wicker sleigh basket spray painted gold. News from Florida. New York. Mississippi. All sitting atop her round, birch laminated coffee table alongside the milk glass candy jar and several angels.
The year Grandma died I had to answer her Christmas cards.
My Christmas cards are taped around the wooden hallway door frame. In other houses I taped them to doors. At the peak of card giving, I had two doors covered with beautiful notes of joy and celebration. When I moved into my new home in 2006, that first Christmas saw TWO door frames covered with swinging Christmas cards. TWO! Photo post cards of my friends Daria and Virginia and their two girls, another friend with her dog. Christmas letters telling of the year's adventures. Cards shaped like they should hold money or a check, but they don't. Cards shaped like they wouldn't hold money or a check but they do.
There are Jesus cards and silly cards and funny cards and nature cards. Dogs peeing on snowmen and Wisemen delivering gifts to the babe in the manger. There are sparkly cards and handmade cards, cards from Target and cards from Hallmark. I love them all.
But a sad thing is happening. Every year the number of cards is declining. Not due to death or divorce or moving oversees or changing religious preference. Maybe it is the email and ecard thing. I don't know. Maybe I am losing friends. I have only half as many cards on my door frame as last year.
Even the grocery stores, which used to have bins of Christmas cards are cutting back. I couldn't find any cool cards this year. What is happening to this wonderful tradition?
Maybe next year, instead of sending your Christmas greeting on Facebook or LinkedIn or My Space or email or by ecard, you could get out an old fashioned pen or pencil and write me a card. You can find instructions on how to address an envelope online. No need to lick the stamp, they lick them for you. Just pop in the mail a week before Christmas and you'll make me the happiest woman in town.