How’s Your Penmanship?

Outtakes 221

How’s Your Penmanship?

By Cait Collins

It’s getting closer to the holidays and I’m starting to put my to-do list together. One of my big things is my Christmas card list. I like keeping in touch with family and old friends. I’m very particular about the cards I send. I can spend an hour or more going through the card displays at my favorite Hallmark store. I buy special pens and nice envelope seals.

I hand-address and sign every card. Some have short hand-written notes. Instead of a computer generated letter, I write my letters individually and gear them to the recipient. Do not misunderstand, I enjoy reading the annual newsletters I receive, and if I had a huge list, I would probably do a computer letter. But my list is relatively small, so I write the letters.

So what goes into my letters? It depends on the person, but I try to recall good memories, update friends and family on important events during the year, inquire on goings on with their families, and end with good wishes for the holiday. Each letter is personal.

My mom taught me the importance of the Christmas card tradition. Being in the military, we were often separated from family and friends during the holidays. Cards and notes were Mom’s way of being part of the extended family when we were not able to be home for Christmas. Her list grew with each transfer as she added new friends. Sadly, she would receive notes letting her know of the passing of a special friend. Her address book was filled with pages with names lined through. It was her way of saying “Gone, but not forgotten.” When she became too ill to write her cards, I took on the task. Sometimes I would have to ask her about the person so I could target the letter. I always made sure to get the letters completed early so she could sign them.

As we become more technology oriented, we tend to neglect the old ways. We lose touch with folks who were parts of our lives. We forget there are ties that keep us together, and memories that had impact on us. This holiday season why not reach out to those who hold special places in our hearts. Write a letter. Tuck it inside of a holiday card. The rewards are priceless.

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