Love it or hate it: Holiday cards

by Patty Templeton

Love ItSometimes it feels like the whole of our lives happen online and that nothing is real anymore. Nothing is tangible. I like objects. I like mementos. I like seeing a book on the shelf, a coffee mug made by someone I know, or – the best – I love finding that my mailbox contains something more than bills, especially during the holidays.

Letters are the best, especially holiday letters. These little notes, when I’m writing them, remind me that I am not alone. That I am loved and loving people in return. That I may not know what or where “home” is, but I know how to deeply love, to signal affection, to hopefully brighten someone’s day.

Holiday cards matter. I can get so caught up in getting life done. Writing letters helps me to pause and be grateful for the days I have and people I know. When I receive one? Well, that’s a smile for seven whiles, too.

— Patty TempletonHate itScrooge, Grinch, a blackened heart, soulless – call me what you will. I just wish I could permanently remove myself from the holiday card cycle. I don’t want to send them and I don’t want to receive them.

Holiday traditions are something I’ve been eschewing for the past decade, Christmas especially. Somehow in the years around 2005, with all its commercialism and manufactured “War on Christmas” aggrieved Christian political nonsense, and general seasonal stress, Christmas and its trappings have became a thing for me to avoid.

Ever since, when it comes to holiday cards, I simply don’t want to participate, as there is little good cheer to go around for me. Except the hand-painted card from my dad – that one I’ll receive with bells on – for every Christmas card that shows up in the mail, I feel bad for never sending my own, fearing that people I care about might think I actually don’t.

Know that I am working on regenerating my Christmas spirit. But until that jingle grows a little louder, you can keep your card and expect your mailbox to stay empty.

— David Holub


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