Wednesday, December 14, 2011

No Forwarding Address

According to Wikipedia,, and several other websites the custom of sending the Christmas card was started my Sir Henry Cole in 1843. Sir Henry was a government worker in the UK who was interested in how the “common folk” could use the new “public post office.” He commissioned his artist friend John Horsley to design the card. The three panel card sold for 1 shilling each which is 5 pence today. One of Sir Henry’s first cards was auctioned off in 2001. He had sent it to his grandmother. It sold for 22,500 pounds. All this time I thought it was Hallmark that did the deed.

For the past several years, I have not sent out Christmas cards. I kind of thought it was a waste of time, money, and trees. It felt like a compulsory act that loomed over your head every year. There was this rush to beat others in the sending of the cards. It was now an obligation and not because you really wanted too. You were keeping greeting card relationships going with people that you hadn’t seen in years and many you didn’t even really like. Let’s not forget when you would send a card to everyone in your address book and only get 10 back from so called friends.  For a while, before I stopped I did “weed” out some of the recipients. Actually, every other year or so I would go through my address book and erase people that I hadn’t received a card from in years or hadn’t talked to in just as long.

This year for Christmas I live in a normal size house that allows me to decorate more than I have in 5 years. I pulled out all of my boxed up Christmas decorations and rummaged through them. In those boxes I found 10 different styles of Christmas cards that were left over from years past. So, since I currently have soooooo much time on my hands I decided to send out the cards with the prerequisite that I, one…actually like the person(s) and two…that I have spoken to them in the last year.

While perusing through my address book and deciding who made the cut and who didn’t (a naughty or nice list if you will) I came upon a couple of names that made my stomach flip and my heart kind of constrict. They were the names of friends and family who have passed away. People, who just because they had died didn’t mean I could erase them from my book. These people are ones that I actually would love to send a card too. Oh hell, I’d much rather talk to them or in certain cases belly up to a bar with them and drink a few drinks.  I miss the hell out them.

So, the cards to the living are sent. To my friends who aren’t here, I still think of you and I smile.

Write side of happy…where ever they are.

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