Joy for the cost of a stamp

blogIMG_0112 (2)Perhaps folks just don’t continue this Christmas tradition anymore.

Because we have so many other ways of sending our thoughts and well wishes to others in today’s world thanks to email, text messaging, and social media, I wonder how many people still send Christmas greeting cards.

You know, the good old fashioned cards that you purchase in a box of 20 or 25 complete with a holiday photo on the front and a Merry Christmas greeting inside. Envelopes are furnished along with the cards, but you must sign them personally or have them imprinted.

If you’re anything like I am, some of the folks on your list are far-away friends so I also write a newsy Christmas letter to include with the card.

And then you either hand-address the envelopes or run off address labels on your home printer, seal the envelopes, stick adhesive postage stamps on the front, and deliver them to a nearby mailbox for a postal worker to send them on their merry way.

It sounds like a lot of work, but when you consider the fact that you may be gladdening some one’s heart when they see your card in their home mailbox or that they smile and think of you when they notice your signature, that makes all the work totally worth the time and effort.

And I don’t know about you but I not only love to send Christmas greetings but receive them as well. It’s one of those things that just makes my heart happy.

Every year, I accomplish this task right after Thanksgiving. I usually purchase my cards at a discount the year before, so they are stashed away ready for use.

Then I pull out my well-used, worn and torn, little hard back book (entitled My Christmas List) I’ve kept since the early days of Papa’s and my marriage to keep track of people we send cards to and those we receive from as well. 

But before I do that, I hand write on a separate piece of paper a list of folks to send cards to that year. And I’ve noticed in the last few years that my card list keeps getting shorter.

Because we’ve lived in different areas of the country over our married life, we’ve managed to keep in contact with lots of friends, old neighbors, and church friends from all of those places.

At one time, our Christmas card list numbered almost to 100. But things have changed. Life goes on and then it doesn’t. What do I mean by that? Every year it seems, I must shorten my list not because I want to but because someone on the list is now deceased.

It saddens me to see the number of people who are no longer here on this earth to celebrate Christmas, for us to communicate with at this special time of year. And it makes me sadder still to cross out their names in my little red and white book with Santa’s picture on the front.

And that got me to thinking about folks even older than I am. Their lists are getting shorter every year as well because their family members and long-time friends are now gone. And you know what that means? They are probably not receiving very many greeting cards either.

And chances are they don’t email, text, or use social media.

I think about the loneliness they might be experiencing, especially if their children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren don’t live near them. How alone they must feel if most of their loved ones and friends are among the dearly departed.

And then I think how much it would lift their spirits and instill a little joy in their hearts to receive a Christmas greeting in the mail. A real honest-to-goodness card with a cheerful note and a personal signature. How they may smile to know that someone somewhere is thinking about them and cares.

But why stop there? What about our members of the military stationed far away from their families during this holiday season? Or the folks in nursing homes or hospitals? Or even the cranky old fellow who lives alone across the street?

Every one of those human beings is worth so much more than just the cost of a card and a stamp.

Okay, I know I sound like a Hallmark commercial, but honestly, perhaps I need to re-think my card list and add some more names to it. Perhaps you too need to re-think sending Christmas cards this year.

A Christmas card and a postage stamp could make a big difference in the life of someone.

“Sending Christmas cards is a good way to let your friends and family know that you think they’re worth the price of a stamp.” ~ Melanie White



A Christmas Blessing

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To  all my faithful readers and friends,

Merry Christmas

from Mama’s Empty Nest!

“May you be blessed

With the spirit of the season, which is peace,

The gladness of the season, which is hope,

And the heart of the season, which is love.” ~ Old Irish Blessing