Friday, January 13, 2012

Hand-crafted letters, cards make lasting, loving keepsakes

Christmas is packed up and put away once again. As much as I love the holiday, it’s a relief to have all those boxes tucked high in the attic for another year. This Christmas I was particularly festive. I baked gingerbread men, wrapped scores of gifts, hosted my entire family, and as I do every year, sent out heaps of holiday cards.

Sending Christmas cards is probably the one element of adulthood I really latched onto right out of the gate. For years I’ve been building and updating my holiday card list, eager to share greetings and well wishes with those who mean a lot to me.

This year I received a very special greeting of my own. It arrived in my mailbox well after the packages had been opened, the tree taken down, the tissue and wrappings swept away.

Yet of all the holiday greetings I received, this one was the best. It was a letter – a two-page, handwritten reply to the photo Christmas card my son and I sent out this year. It didn’t come from a relative or an old college roommate – it came from the 81-year-old father of my very first boyfriend.

The last time I saw the retired Lt. Colonel and his lovely wife was about half my life ago, but for all these years I’ve been sending them cards. I have many happy, teenage memories of being at their house, sitting around their living room with the family, watching movies on the VCR, eating an incalculable number of home-cooked meals. It was there I learned that real people could make mashed potatoes that didn’t come out of a box.

Ah, but what we did get out of a box in those days, were letters. Lots of letters. We got all our mail through the post office back then, in real envelopes with actual postage stamps. Growing up, I remember the joy of going to the mailbox to find a letter waiting for me. When I pulled this letter of out my mailbox two weeks ago, it grieved me that I couldn’t remember the last time I'd gotten a letter in the mail.

A rare keepsake, this hand-written greeting, and I'll keep it always.

I'm realizing that, though I write for a living, like most of the modern world, I don’t write often enough. Postcards, emails and texts don’t count. Somehow we just don’t find the time to write like we should. CrinkledNose makes our lives easier this way; at a time of year when time is particularly short, we can send out magnetic holiday photo cards to let our special people know we’re thinking of them; how many kids and pets we now have; and how much we’ve aged since they last saw us.

They say a picture is worth a thousand words. If that’s true, then CrinkledNose is filling some of those big gaps our lack of hand-penned greetings has created. Every unique CrinkledNose order reminds us that, like good mashed potatoes, good holiday cards don’t come out of a box – until they are pulled from your loved one’s mailbox, sharing the special holiday greetings they were meant to deliver. And when the message you send is truly treasurable, whether it's a hand-written note, child's drawing or family photo card, it becomes a lasting, loving keepsake your recipients will be honored to receive.

As a writer, I aspire to write more often in 2012, to pen letters worth keeping. I’ll send out even more holiday cards. Those of you who know and love me, hold me to it. . . and watch your mailboxes. :)

3 comments:

  1. I am keeping my eyes on the mailbox as well! Great blog Jean

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  2. Thanks, guys! :) I appreciate you!

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