They are my favorite part of Christmas—a season which in the main unaccountably saddens me. I understand I am not alone, Christmas depression being fairly common.
But the cards have started arriving! Each one lifts my spirits, and I have just figured out why. It’s the sight of those handwritten envelopes—several of them in each mail. I recognize each friend before I look at the return address because I know his or her handwriting, even though I probably haven’t seen it for a year. It’s as if these friends have come to visit, for a good bit of their personality and their individuality is conveyed by the unique way they have of putting pen to paper. I really cherish each one. So far, no e-cards.
The first card to arrive—always—is from Mardel and her husband Dave. She is a high school friend who still lives in Kansas City, and every year their card features a photo or an artistic interpretation of the Plaza Lights, which brings back memories of my childhood home. The Kansas City Country Club Plaza was the country’s first suburban shopping center, and since 1925, Chistmas has been celebrated there with a lighting display. My earliest memories are of “going to see the lights.” Today fully 80 miles of Christmas lights outline the Spanish-Influenced architectural features of the buildings.
Almost everyone writes a brief personal greeting in his or her own hand. Distant friends write longer notes, updating me on their lives. Many of these people I see more or less frequently; to be honest I know I will never see some of them again. But the Christmas cards—and especially their sender’s handwriting—keep the circle unbroken.
I wish all my readers