It’s Christmas card day. And I’ll get right to them, after I finish this column --and after we pick up our son from the airport.
Wow. It’s the fourth year he’s made the long trek home for Christmas from the Mainland.
That first year was scary. I know many of you understood my anxieties and angst because you told me so. You experienced the same thing when your child went off to college and you could relate.
Four yeas ago I stayed up all night worrying. Will he make his plane on time? Will he eat? Sleep? What if he loses his stuff? What if someone STEALS his stuff? What if ? What if? What if?
I insisted he call and text when he got to each airport for his layovers. He did, most of the time. When he didn’t I freaked a little. Okay, maybe more than a little.
But we’re all veterans now. This time there was no freaking out. I didn’t worry, even when he forgot to text. No big deal. He can handle.
More to the point, I can handle.
Some things do change as our kids get older. That’s good because all that stress was giving me white hairs.
But some things don’t change (for me, anyway). I still couldn’t sleep a wink. Somehow, just knowing he’s making his way home keeps me awake all night.
Which means I am groggy and slurping coffee as I write this column. Umm, what was my point?
Oh yeah. Christmas cards.
I love them.
I love that people pick their cards with care and that they reflect the personalities of the senders. I love all the sentiments—funny, corny, elegant, heartfelt, naughty or nice.
I hope e-cards never catch on. There’s something about receiving an envelope in the mail, opening it up and enjoying the personal connection tucked inside.
I especially love those photo cards of kids, couples, pets, and entire families. Some people go all out with elaborate montages of their accomplishments and experiences throughout the year (Geri Ann I’m looking at you). Others pose with Santa hats, or standing stiffly or goofily around their tree. Some chronicle their yearly holidays. One memorable year the entire Peter Carlisle family posed in coconut bras. That was before he became Mr. Mayor.
They’re all great. And they’re a wonderful way to watch everybody grow up, grow out and grow old. Doesn’t matter. Every card is like a page in their lives and I keep them all. I have albums filled with the pictorial evolution of my friends scattered around the house.
Our little family started our photo tradition when our son was born. I have a great friend, Steve Riede, who lovingly and patiently photographed us year after year after year. It was tough coming up with fresh ideas, believe me, but he—and we—managed to do it.
This year we gave Steve a break. I’m sending out our very first selfie Christmas card. It’s either very clever or vey tacky— I don’t care. It’s who we are at this moment in time, and it’s fun.
The holidays are about family. And connection. Our cards are about sharing a bit of ourselves. We make the effort year after year because we care about the people in our lives.
So, Mele Kalikimaka, Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays. And get those cards in the mail!