holiday mail


It’s the holiday season, a time when I run to the mailbox knowing there’s a slightly higher chance of receiving a personal greeting amidst the numerous bills. I love holiday cards–regardless of whether or not there’s a personal note or a typewritten “year in summary” note. (This year, as I read the “year in summary” letters and the “How did your year go?” I winced–there are things that happened this year that I could never write in a “cheery” year end summary, no matter how I spin them).

It is a good time to remember and be remembered, to reach out and connect. Many of these relationships hang on this once-a-year postal exchange. Without the holiday cards, I fear we would entirely disconnect and be sent out into the ether.

In addition to the holiday cards are rejection letters and cards returned to sender. It’s a mixed array of mail, a pile that sends me into spikes and troughs each day. At no other time of the year does postal mail become such an emotional event, day to day.

I think it’s time to shake the fog of holiday vacation from my head and start writing again. It’s the only cure.



Filed under Writing

6 responses to “holiday mail

  1. So very true. I feel a mild form of panic whenever I decide to no longer send a Christmas card to someone, as if I’ve given up on our friendship forever, no matter how long it’s been since we could ever have been called more than acquaintances.

  2. celiapowell

    I too love checking the mail at this time of year. One of the “end of year” newsletters I received went into great detail, for about half a page, about illnesses suffered during the year and the treatments endured to cure them. Far too much detail really – but it seems there is an alternative to cheery Christmas newsletters, if you’re over a certain age 🙂 I stuck to the “bought a house, adopted a kitten” variety of news in my Christmas cards.

  3. i hate those end of the year newsletters. it sounds so much like bragging. i want a newsletter that is honest for once where it goes: “this year, i caught my husband posting naked pictures of himself on craigslist. my daughter is hated by all her classmates because she keeps telling them she’s a princess. in october, i had to go to my shrink because i had a nervous breakdown while i was getting botox. merry christmas!”

  4. We actually get some pretty honest letters: about peoples’ terrible illnesses, their children’s struggles. They’re not all braggy types. Some of them are really quite moving.

  5. susan, you’re lucky, i only get the braggy types. must be my friends. or me. 🙂

  6. moenkopi: very true–dropping someone from a holiday card list is sometimes the very last step of keeping in touch!

    celiapowell: ah–maybe it is my age group.

    no milk: ha! That would be awesome. But every year I get letters about expecting children, having children, and gorgeous trips. Not so much about the tragedies. I feel like an anomaly, even though I’m not (well kind of–it’s weird to have had a stroke when I was 33).

    Susan: You are lucky. Like no milk, I only get the braggy types. Makes me re-examine my year and go, “Huh. Well I managed to get up every morning. And uh….”

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