For most of the year, our mail is a mix of catalogs, credit card offers and bills. How boring! But then comes December, and for every one of those things, there is a brightly colored envelope with an address that is familiar and handwriting that I recognize. I would love to say that I wait for Mark and Jane to open them, but I just get too excited and I tear through each one like a two year old opening gifts on her birthday. I love seeing the photos of my friends and family and their children. It always amazes me just how much life can change in one year…
Before Jane, when our refrigerator was bare, I would carefully construct a holiday card display held together with Christmas magnets. Now that our refrigerator is covered in calendars and craft projects, we’ve had to find a different place to display them. Last year, we placed all of our cards on the window sills around the house, and while I loved seeing every one of them, I spent the month of December picking cards up off the floor!
So this year, I decided to simplify things a bit. When we receive a card, I whole punch it and add it to the others that are tied together with red and green twine. The growing stack of cards sits on the coffee table in our front room for us to look through as we add the news ones.
While we still have almost two weeks until Christmas, it will come and go quicker than I’d like. As we put away the decorations, and untangle the lights from the tree, we will have to decide what to do with our 2013 holiday cards. I always hate throwing them away because I know how much thought went into sending them, but they can’t stay up all year, right? Well, maybe they don’t have to stay up, but they can stay around!
This year, Mark and I have decided that we are going to keep our holiday cards around even after the holiday season has ended. At two, Jane has started becoming interested in how people are related. While we were visiting our family in New York for Thanksgiving, she would say, “I go see my cousins – Milly. Connor.” After we’d spend time with her uncle, she’d say, “Uncle Barnaby? Daddy’s brother!!”
Our plan is to randomly select one card each week throughout the year. We’ll spend the week talking about the family who sent the card. We’ll discuss where they live and show her where that is on a map. We will look at the weather where they live and talk about differences and similarities in relation to ours. We’ll tell her stories of how we met them or how we are all related. And at the end of the week, we will write the family a little note and mail it to them. I’m hoping it will show Jane that while we can connect on Facebook and Instagram and Twitter, there is just nothing like getting a little note in the mail to make your day!