The view from my cup…Christmas cards. Granted, a small display, however more cards than in recent years. But any amount in recent years pale in comparison to the avalanche of holiday greeting cards our family received when I was young. What we received in total was about an average days cards years ago.
We had a mail slot in the front door and I loved hearing the screen door open, the little brass panel lifted, and envelopes tumbling to the floor. Various sized cards in red, green, ivory and white envelopes lay in a heap to be gathered and sorted from the uninteresting, everyday mail.
Cards fell into a few distinct categories. There were the large, ornate cards with their envelopes lined in thick colored foil. Their envelopes were usually embossed on the back flap with the senders return address and signed with lavish embossing in gold or silver. Other cards were just as lovely and signed by hand. Still other cards were festive, and signed by each family member individually. Some people preferred a religious themed card, while others favored Santa or snow scenes.
My favorite cards were ones that included a Christmas ‘newsletter’. Family accomplishments were listed, vacations taken recounted and schools accepted into or graduated from touted. Some included family photos making it easier to put a face with the name of those whose annual anecdotes were being heralded.
The practice of the annual letter has waned over the last decade. The advent of social media certainly keeps you more up to date that you might actually like, and greatly reduces the necessity of a letter.
Today we have a mailbox at the end of the driveway for the postwoman in her mail truck. Cards are treasured now more than ever. They seem more meaningful now that receiving them is more infrequent. Next year we will send a few more cards, I think. And I will not mail cards, no matter how cute, with square envelopes… turns out it costs more to be square!