- Important: All passwords were reset on 06/15/11. Old passwords will no longer work. Click here to retrieve your password.
- Subscribe to Our Free Dewsletter
We are non-commercial, all volunteer and supported by our readers. Please help sustain the Dew by making a donation.
You learn a lot and it’s fun to read Christmas card messages
One of the joys of the holiday season is finding out about what your friends have been up to in the past year through their Christmas cards.
On Christmas Day, I spent about three hours just leaning back in a chair, and very deliberately going through the cards that friends had sent along. Many of them include messages, long and short, shedding more light on their activities.
Some come only in card form. But even that is a delight, since the years are adding up for all of us, and just hearing from old friends, and knowing that they are here, always cheers us. Of course, the flip side is that in a few days after Christmas we will get returned two or three cards from distant friends we sent cards to, who have either moved and we need to change their address, or they have “moved on,” and we need to eliminate them from our list. The second part saddens you.
Yes, some write long, long letters. Today these might even arrive via e-mail, being quickly sent, and saving our friends postage. If you send out a lot of cards, that postage can add up while Internet communications works well!
Going through the comments and letters in the arriving cards, you learn all sorts of items. Some people now are also grandparents, and of course and as it should be, they like to tell about the accomplishments of both their children, or their grand (and some great) children.
That aspect makes us proud: the accomplishment of our friends’ children. Many of them are really sharp kids (or so their grandparents say), doing so much, and seeming to really enjoy themselves. We are proud, even those we don’t know them closely or at all.
So we hear of people graduating from college or becoming a doctor, or of new births or new careers and even of ailments. “Still in there after battling cancer,” one said, and we were relieved to hear of this person’s progress.
Since much of our mail comes from the senior set, we find that many of them find time to travel, to all sort of exotic places. One couple we know in England was taking an Asian cruise, only to find that all four of the ship’s engines conked out. There they were in what they call 33 degree (C) weather (about 100 degrees F) without any air conditioning. And this lasted several days, with finally one engine and then another one getting partially restarted at sea, before they slowly steamed for an unexpected port. They were given a complimentary stay at a top hotel, and provided tickets for another cruise. What an adventure!
Another couple took a cruise with their extended family around New England and to Canada, aboard a ship named for their family. It made it sound like so much fun we wished we had been with them.
Opening Christmas cards is not like talking on the phone, up close and really personal. Yet going leisurely through the cards gives us a certain pleasure. It’s a part of Christmas we always look forward to each year.
* * *
One more holiday story: a Christmas Party invitation one person got gave the time and place, then added: “Adult admission: one festive beverage; child admission: $700.” Guess how many children showed up?
- Image: Provided by author.
Worthy of Comment
Also on the Dew
But the sacred is something that Liberal America, by and large, has not been tapping into. That was not always true. One can sense the sacred in the words of FDR, for example, engraved in the granite in that memorial on the National Mall. (And FDR was not shy about going toe to toe against his enemies, whether it be to help make the nation a better place or to stop the predations of the fascist powers against much of the world.) That was then. But if one listens to the voice of Liberal America in these times, one does not get Read on →
I recently had the pleasure of roaming about the grounds of the Carter Center in Atlanta. It was an early Sunday morning before any of the buildings were open and I had the place pretty much to myself except for one lady who volunteers there and was fidgeting around in one of the small side gardens. I didn’t tromp over the entire thirty-five acres, but I covered enough to be impressed with the design and the number of large Oaks that provided much needed shade from the bright sunshine and heat. The visit took me back in time to when I w Read on →
Every human culture, it seems, has had some notion of the sacred, and has placed that notion at the center of its worldview. From this, we can conclude several things: 1) that a sense of the sacred – like other universals, such as language and music – is an inherent part of our humanity; 2) that therefore we can conclude that this sense has served the cause of life of our kind through the eons in which we developed; and 3) that the experience of “the sacred” possesses an important kind of power, that it is not just an inherent part of us b Read on →
There were superficial reasons—when he thundered on the political scene at the Democratic Convention in 2004 and then rode on the wave of that thunder to his election in 2008—to compare Barack Obama with Abraham Lincoln. There was the Illinois connection, for instance, and the gifted orator connection, and the “new birth of freedom” connection. Add to these the evident high esteem, even reverence, held by Obama for that towering mentor of his spirit, and it is easy to link the two of them. But what about things deeper than the surface? A sobering intimation arose in me, in the wake of the Read on →