The Christmas cards I've received this year represent 32 different views of Christmas. Two have puppies wearing Santa hats, two feature cats, and one has a horse peaking from his barn stall. There are several with Christmas trees in both primitive dress and wildly ablaze; my elderly aunt has sent me a card for a 'special niece' that is obviously meant for a much younger 'girl' than me. One has a set of sparkling candles, five have nostalgic type country scenes, and one has a large tree ornament covered in some sort of velvet paper. There is one meant to be funny...two old people sitting in rocking chairs; his speech balloon says "My butt fell asleep"; hers reads "I know, I can hear it snoring."
None of the cards show families or children. Only one of my cards depicts a nativity and there are no others with any signs of religious symbols. Many feature snow which I guess makes sense in this northern climate. Of all the cards, my favourites are those with a personally written note in them and knowing this, I try to include a note in mine that I send out. By the way, this year the cards I mailed had birds on them and I usually buy those associated with a charity like Unicef. Like my grandmothers, I hang all the cards I receive over line strung across the inside doorways.
I think this annual exchange of cards to mark the Christmas season and also wish a happy new year to family and friends far away is important. I know it is an old-fashioned method of communication but it still serves a purpose; to keep up our connections, old and new. It is sad for me to contemplate that in this ever more technical society, this too is a practice of the sort that is ever waning.