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Monday, December 1, 2008

Winter Holiday Cards & Newsletters

It's time for that annual winter competition - taking bets on who will be the first to get their holiday card or newsletter out the chute. When our children were first born and I was working full time, I would print a hundred copies of our annual family portrait and barely scribble our signature at the bottom. Even now we get cards from a few friends who don't even sign their card, they figure we'll know who sent it from the return address label on the envelop. But what I always like best are those long, Tolstoy-inspired newsletters that wrap up every single event that happened that year. In font size 2 - the same size as a footnote. I'm actually guilty of this and love to write a newsletter that goes over the highlights of the year about my family. Intially it began as a way to keep in touch with friends and relatives. But over the years it has evolved as more of a family journal, perhaps even a family blog, about what I want my family to remember for years to come.

Believe it or not, I tend to keep all of the cards we have gotten for the past 15 years or so. Several friends mail a traditional family portrait and I was able to shrink years of those photos to a thumbnail size and create a memory bracelet with them. They were shocked to get it. That's probably because they tossed my newsletter in the trash before reading it. That's OK by me. I send it not with the hope that they will read it word-for-word, but that they know our family is thinking of them during this time of year. And though we may not see each other daily or even monthly - they are friends we know we can synch up with immediately as if time never passed us by. Even if they didn't read my holiday newsletter.

I remember when I was a little girl and it was my parents that would get lots of holiday cards in the mail. I loved going to the mail box and joyously count how many cards came that day and help open them up. My mother is now 81, and her holiday mail has shrunk considerably as so many of her peers have passed on. And the superfluous list of friends has faded and only the true friends who withstood the test of time remain.

So the way I see it, holiday cards and newsletters are a symbol of friendship. Facebook and other social networking sites will start taking the place of a long newsletter and will point friends and relatives to updates instead. Or to a blog. How will you stay in touch this holiday season?


  1. I'm feeling the pressure of getting my holiday card out too. I spent several hours trying to load my photo on to Costco's site, then Snapfish and ultimately Walgreens. Argh....I'm also trying to decide whether or not to add a letter. I typically do a quiz or top ten list. The pressure is on....

  2. You inspired me to do my cards. I was thinking about skipping it this year but now I'm ready to send them out! I also love your bracelet idea!


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