Yesterday (or maybe a day or so ago) someone (forgive me for not remembering who!) tweeted the question, "What will you do with your Christmas cards?" Now I am a big fan of sending Christmas cards and send out close to 150 each year to family and friends. I am an even bigger fan of receiving them. And as far as I'm concerned, you have to give to receive. Now I know that with Facebook, Twitter, etc., I can see every breath your family breathes, every vacation, and special (or not so special) occasion with the hundreds of pictures people post. I can see how little Sally and Stan have grown. However, I love having that picture. You see, I save every card. I mean EVERY one.
Ever since 1999, I have kept a photo album of every year's collection of cards. I began this when S had his first Christmas. Every family is noted, and I try to put them in as approximately the same order every year. Of course, the cards we have received ebb and flow as we lose touch with some and gain other friends. However, I have pictures of many, many children and families without a gap for the past eleven years. I'm afraid I may run out of room in our second album this year!
S and J love looking through these two albums. We keep them in the living room. Sometimes they randomly grab them and flip back and forth to see how their friends and my friends' children have changed over the years. Some of these families they have never met in person as they live all over the country, but S and J feel a connectedness with them none the less.
One dear college friend lost her son last year. When I received the news, the boys immediately ran to the albums to see who it was. They were heartbroken (especially S, who was the same age) as they felt they knew him, his history, and his family.
I love that these cards are snapshots (no pun intended) of my husband's and my life. These friends represent so many aspects. These are friends from childhood, college, Columbia, SC (where I lived the first 36 years of my life), church, A**** (where we live now) - and now Blog friends. I treasure these albums and have included them in my mental "what to grab if the house catches on fire" list. I'm not kidding!
So I'm off to organize and catalog for Christmas, 2010. I'm so glad that some of you will be included as we shared cards this year! The rest of the undecorating can wait...