Saturday, December 4, 2010

An Old Christmas Card

Have you noticed I’ve been trying to title these posts with a line from a Christmas song? Jim Reeves was a favorite of my father’s so this is doubly appropriate.

I remember that cards were sent and received in my childhood home, but I don’t remember much about them. I think my mother picked out a package or two, addressed and signed them in her lovely Palmer-method cursive handwriting, and that was that.

At some point, probably when we moved to Germany after my sophomore year in high school, I started sending a few cards of my own. For a long time I bought cards from UNICEF. This continued during the first few years of our marriage with the addition of input from a spouse. Given that I had attended three high schools and a college, and Onkel Hankie Pants one of each, plus our friends from jobs and the Army, plus our relatives – soon we had over a hundred cards to send, and both of us felt that we needed to do a bit more than just sign our names. A personal note updating the recipients on our year’s activities was called for. By Christmas of 1976 this seemed an insurmountable task, so I decided to write one of the dreaded Christmas letters. When OHP saw my effort, he felt he could do better, and he did – writing a humorous verse that hit the high and low spots of the year and was a big hit with our correspondents. He continued doing this sort of thing for several years; subsequently we sent some “straight” letters and have finally settled down to a sort of newspaper format, now published in February as the Groundhog Day Gazette. So, once again I’m sending Christmas cards at Christmastime.

We’ve had some creative cards come into the house over the years, too. We appreciate every greeting we get, and we do like the Christmas letters. And here is a sample of one card we always look forward to (it’s a different scene every year)

2002 11 Petroff-Foye-Wills Christmas card with Cordelia

My brother’s family does this; in the card above, Cordeliaknits is also present, as she was celebrating Thanksgiving in Maine that year.

Now I’d better get at those cards!

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