Cards of all sizes, sent with colorful stamps and mass-produced greetings, tumble from my mail box, each one a silent reproach against me and the stack of un-signed, un-stamped, un-addressed, and (most importantly) un-sent cards sitting on my desk. Long letters from half-remembered friends point out in tiny and ornate fonts that I have not had children (or grandchildren, or nieces, or nephews, or offspring of any kind), have not published a book, have not gone on a cruise, have not recently graduated from anything, have not started a not-for-profit organization or advocacy group (or a company of any kind). Nor have I recently adopted anything that would otherwise have gone homeless, or invented anything that will surely revolutionize … anything.
I will not be writing a letter this year. I have never written a letter. There’s a fine line between writing resume cover letters and Christmas letters, and I’ve seen too few actual Christmas letters to be any judge of my own writing during this season.
Truth be told, I’ll be lucky to send out a mailing of any kind this year, no matter how silently my stacked cards reproach me from the desk. And if I do, I will limit myself to an unimaginative, though legibly printed, “Merry Christmas, Love Iris.” I will concentrate on spelling names correctly and keeping names properly matched with addresses.
Next month I will go back to opening my mail box with anticipation rather than dread.
[Update: All that moaning and 45 cards later (many with individualized notes, no less), I’m done. Now I’m at liberty to enjoy any cards that should come my way in the next few weeks, secure in the knowledge that my cards are no longer on my desk.]