Monday, December 15, 2008

Christmas cards

I love going to the mailbox at this time of year, because the Christmas cards are arriving. It's always nicer to go to the mailbox when there's mail in actual envelopes addressed to us by name that is not someone telling us to pay up. We used to send our Christmas cards out the day after Thanksgiving, but those days are long past. There are too many other things going on in my life to devote time to Christmas cards that early in the year. It looks like no one else is sending their cards that early anymore either, at least among our friends.
I have one complaint about Christmas cards, and I'm not sure that I should mention it in this space, because I'm planning to include my blog address in our Christmas card this year, and someone might be offended, but oh well. Caution to the wind (which is quite nasty today) and all that. The problem I have with Christmas cards is the ones on which the people just sign their names and send them off. For many of the people with whom we exchange Christmas cards, this is the only time we hear from each other all year. I honestly feel like, what's the point in sending us a card if you're not going to take the time to tell us how you've been? Yes, from your card we can tell that you're still alive. We can figure out if you've moved to a new location. If you sign an additional name to your card, it's a pretty good bet that you've added a new person (or sometimes dog) to your family. But if you're getting a Christmas card from me, it's because I care about you, and if I care about you, I want to know what you've been up to, how you're doing. (Let me add that I really don't mind when those of you with whom I communicate regularly just sign your names to your cards, because I know how you've been and what you've been up to--it's just the people that I don't hear from regularly).

Christmas newsletters get a bad rap, I think mostly because people tend to share only the good stuff in them, making everyone's lives seem incredibly, overwhelmingly wonderful, and sometimes sounding boastful, but I love 'em. I just lap them up. Can't get enough of them. Read them multiple times. Because it makes me feel connected to the sender. And that, my friends, is the point of sending Christmas cards, at least in my mind: connecting with friends and family, and rekindling those relationships that have been neglected all year.
. . . . . . . . . .
It was a busy weekend for us. Cody had a birthday party Friday after school, so he rode the bus home from school to a friend's house and the friend's mom drove the boys to the party for Extreme Bowling (everything glowed in the dark--how fun!). After the party, she dropped Cody and Derek off at our house for a sleepover. In the morning everyone went sledding or snowboarding, and then we all headed off for bowling with the Cub Scouts (not extreme). After that we headed home and Logan and I went to work on our gingerbread house (I'm not sure what the older boys were doing except that it most likely included nerf guns). I also set up my Willow Tree Nativity. Derek went home around 5. Sunday the 3 oldest boys headed outside to try to scrape some of the ice off the driveway in anticipation of the expected 50 degree temperature drop. Sunday night Caleb learned how to slide down our little 3' slide by himself,
(notice how few Christmas ornaments are on the bottom of the tree...)
and we watched the Survivor finale (I called it--Sue won the last immunity challenge). Now today, it was 7 degrees below zero when I woke up, and the wind chills are in the 20-30 degrees below zero range. The high today is supposed to be -1. Bracing.

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