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
“Well, then, ask me your questions. I won’t be around forever.” That’s what Floyd told me a few years ago when I said that just when we get old enough to ask the right questions of our parents and grandparents, they’re all gone. Floyd was true to his word and did not last forever. He is now gone, six months short of his one-hundredth birthday. I was assured he died without pain and without lingering more than just a few days. As a rabbi friend told me once about the way my mother died instantly from a stroke ... she was taken wit Read on →
It is a fact that if you’re a kid growing up in America in the Fifties and Sixties, the last day of school is better than Christmas! You’re free, unfettered and unchained. Nothing but blue skies ahead …at least for three months, which is ‘till eternity’ in Kid Standard Time. For the next three glorious months, you’re not required to study, sit still, do homework, do book reports, memorize, read, recite, remember or do anything remotely enlightening. No worries about spelling tests, essays, reading exams, arithmetic quizzes, IQ tests or the Mother Magilla of all tests, the Iowa Basic Skills Test which supposedly Read on →
I think of myself as a realist. A diehard realist. I believe I am truly a child of the Age of Reason. But can reason explain all things, unlock all mysteries? Don’t think so. My Uncle Lehman, for instance, my Aunt Mary Grace’s husband, could talk warts off. As I write this, I can see you shaking your skeptical head. Well, I didn’t believe it, either. Nor did Meredith, my first wife, who once was his “patient.” But he did it anyhow, and it couldn’t be called faith healing, for the subject’s disbelief was no deterrent to the cure. You ready for this? We go by their house one night in Read on →
Grandpa was a quiet and gentle man. Grandma did most of the talking. He was over six feet tall and she was a little over five feet, feisty and independent. They obviously had agreed that he would make the big decisions and she would make all the small ones. All of the decisions were small. I was four years old when my brother and I were sent to live with Grandma and Grandpa, whom I called Papa, during World War II. My father was away, not at war because he had failed the medical, working on the railroad tracks and bridges. Read on →