I barely remember my Great grandmother Evelyn Reidsema even though one of my names is for her. What I do know is that she had several children who eventually scattered over the country. For eighty six years and multiple generations they communicated without computers. I remember when the “big letter” arrived at our home. Each sibling, niece, nephew or relative would add a new letter and or photo, take out their old letter and send the letter on to the next relative. What a wonderful happening for eights six years!
Why bring this up now you may ask. Well it has to do with Christmas cards. I love receiving real hard copy Christmas cards. I have always sent Christmas cards but they have evolved over the years. Used to buy several boxes of matching cards and write notes on them. Then I figured out that I really appreciated getting photos from loved ones and changed to a card in which you could insert a photo.
Ann Landers did not have good things to say about Christmas letters and with some good reason. However I write a Christmas letter and have for several years. It may be better not to mention that you gave yourself a new Lexus for your birthday or that you are living on beans from the food bank but there is still lots of news you can share with friends and relatives and it is easier to write one newsy letter and make copies than it is to try to write a hundred newsy letters. You can always put a hand written comment at the bottom of the letter.
Also eventually I noticed that a card, a photo and a letter weighed a lot and that it cost a lot to send each letter and figured there had to be a better way. Enter Walgreens photo cards. You can select your favorite photo-recent or historical and take it to Walgreens. They have many blank cards to chose from. This year when we put in the restrictions that it be religious and accept a photo, I had exactly ONE choice. That limited the time it took to select my card. By having the photo and the card in one, they also provide envelopes, the weight lessoned greatly. Now I write a Christmas letter about the things that have happened over the year. I try to insert it in the eight inch envelope and note that paper is eight and a half inches so each has to be trimmed-go figure.
For a few years I tried writing a year end poem. Discovered that I am not a poet!! Hope you never received one of those.
Anyway send Christmas cards. Do not just go to the store and buy a box and sign your name. Start a bit early and put some thought into your yearly communication. Everyone loves a newsy letter and a card from their friends. Doesn’t matter if you did not take a big trip, get divorced, married, have a child, change jobs, etc. but hopefully you continued to breath for another year and your friends will like hearing that.
A few years ago, I put some of my old letters in a file along with some of the various cards, find them very meaningful to look back on. Gave me a look at my history which was interesting.
We have had some deaths in our community this week. Jim Hiland of Quincy passed away on November 27th. He is the brother of Larry Hiland of Augusta. He often came to the antique store and had a wide variety of collections including French roosters.
Jean Lord of Golden passed away on Saturday evening. I taught with her husband, Kay, at Central for many years. Mary Ruth Phillips of Plymouth is her sister.
I understand that Donna Tenhouse of Camp Point, a former student, also passed unexpectedly this week.
Another friend lost his mother to covid this week.
Please keep all these families in your prayers. It has been such a difficult year for so many and we cannot even share a hug to help lessen the pain.
I still have two pots with blooming flowers by the back porch. They may be small flowers but they are mighty for December!
You still have time. Sit down and write a Christmas letter and send cards to your loved ones. Tell them you love and appreciate them-that will Scatter Kindness!