Worth the Stamp


This time of year, there is a little less room in the old mailbox. Greeting cards. I would say “Christmas” cards, but that seems to upset people. Then again, saying “holiday” cards is just as likely to send plenty of people into a tailspin. For the record, I’m not trying to fire up that un-winnable debate.

Call them what you want, these annual messages, clad in bright colored envelopes, give me a reason to make the trek to my mailbox every December. Without this batch of correspondence, I would have no idea what my cousins’ kids look like … or their pets, for that matter.

I’m not going to lie: if you send me a copy of a neatly-typed summary of your year – single-spaced, small font – I’m not going to read it. I don’t know that much about what is happening in my own life. I feel a little awkward knowing that much about yours. (Too grumpy?)

I do enjoy getting cards addressed to me and my husband, Ron, mostly because my husband’s name is Rick. I am not being sarcastic, I really get a kick out of that! I’m sure I am guilty of misidentifying multiple spouses and/or children every year.

I have heard it said that Christmas cards are going out of style. As much as I won’t read any message longer than “Seasons Greetings. Love, (whomever),” I would be seriously upset if there were no cards in my mailbox during the holidays.

I display them.

I smile when I read them.

I freak out about what to do with them once the holiday season is over. Can I really throw away a family photo, embossed on card stock, of my cousin Ruby and her husband Hal – or Cal (whatever)? Do I just pretend the snowmen on the teeter-totter, wishing us “Peace on Earth” never existed?

If I keep these cards, where do I put them? I may have to toss out half of my Christmas decorations just to make room to store my greeting cards, which date back to 1987, when I first moved out on my own.

Sure, you can recycle; but, honestly, throwing them out isn’t really such a crime. It’s not as though my Aunt Susan is going to show up one snowy December eve, demanding to see the reindeer-themed nativity scene on the card she sent in 1997. No one will ever know. No one.

You may be thinking, “Sheesh! That’s a lot of wasted paper!” I say, not at all. I like to see my cousins’ kid’s toothless smile. I enjoy knowing someone I love had a year busy enough to fill both sides of a piece of standard 8.5” x 11” paper.

I don’t care much whether you say, “Happy Holidays,” “Merry Christmas,” “Season’s Greetings” or none of the above. Although they’ve been said and sent many times over many years, it’s the staying in touch that will always be worth the price of a stamp.


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