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Keeping the Christmas card tradition alive

Charlotte, North Carolina–Apologies to my dear readers for being absent in my corner in the past few days since I've been busy coping with the changes in the weather here at home.

I used to love the magic of the snow and snow flurries (term for light snow)  falling from above. Not lately because there was a snow storm even if it was still days before the official start of the winter season.

I had to undergo mental defrosting of my writing ideas so to speak. But it didn't take long for me to do so and I didn't waste my time worrying about the snow.

Last year I did not send cards because of my health issues which many of you are aware. This year I don't want to end this tradition that is slowly dying elsewhere because of the Internet and people are too lazy to write personal cards anymore.

Don't get me wrong. It is a choice anyway to send or not to send cards during the holidays. I find this tradition worth keeping because it reflects my love and care for my family and friends. 

So during that snow storm, I spent time writing notes and sending Christmas cards to family and friends from all over the world.

Back in the good old days, Christmas cards in the Philippines were expensive  at least for my family. That's why I couldn't send as many as I want to then. 

But Nanay (mother) would see to it that we can send a few to close friends and family especially those living or working abroad.  My mother would save all those cards we received year after year. 

We adorned our Christmas tree with old cards. The cards would turn yellow through many Christmases but we still keep it due to our tradition and the fond memories they bring us. 

It is through these cards that I came to know about the friends of my family. You don’t send cards to people not connected with you right? I may be right or wrong about this.

When I came to the US  a decade ago I lost no time to continue my Nanay's Christmas practice because I have an abudance of cards and stamps and mailing them wasn't an issue. 

I can mail these cards right in my backyard. Unlike the time when I was still in the Philippines when we had to line up at the post office to get stamps for the mail. 

I was happy to remain connected with this tradition in my first year in the US because my husband Ronnie would receive card after card and I was happy that we have the same practice.

I was amazed in fact. Ronnie's cousin Irish  Rose Jillian sent cards with a separate paper informing us of what happened to her family usually her children and the achievements of the grandchildren. 

I enjoyed reading it though this year we received a card with nothing on it. Ronnie and I were surprised but still glad to receive a card from her. But this year. I had two surprises. I received cards from friends that I would love to receive. 

The card from J Andrew Arlegui and Dr. Keith Ayrons who moved to California months ago was amazing to say the least. It had six pages underlining their lives, their condition and plans in the future. 

The second card I received which was also personal and creative came from Rogelio Lawsin here at Huntersville. The family photos in the cards carried a personal touch which I appreciated.

My second  Christmas in the US I took charge in sending cards and actually made a directory of friends that sent cards and even friends who did not.

Ronnie would buy cards by the box which is cheaper but it also means we would send the same cards to all the people in my list. I chose the cards by reading the message and I have a person in mind to whom it would be sent.

My dining table is converted into a working table where I work on the cards. The cards contain either funny, religious or inspiring messages. It is time-consuming because I write personal messages that are different for each recipient and Ronnie and I would sign it together.

Another throwback memory from my youth: I used to help my Nanay in sending cards. She would write the messages while I closed the envelope by licking on the envelope.

You could just imagine how interesting it was closing the envelope. But this time the cards are self sticking with a strip you just pull off to close it.

Nowadays people greet and wish friends through online social media either by email, text messaging, phone calls or Facebook Messenger. 

A lot of people may consider this personal but not to me. I still long for the old days when sending cards bearing personal messages to friends really mattered.

I used to do it during my youth. At times, I am frustrated when I receive a card from friends with no personal messages and updates on their lives. 

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