Category Archives: Holidays

Send it Snail Mail

Not too long ago I celebrated a birthday. Before you ask, I’m not saying how old I turned, but suffice it to say that I remember watching the Vietnam War on television and seeing Father Knows Best in black and white. I also remember the day when birthday cards would come through the mail and each one was a gift in of itself.

Whenever I got a card or letter in the mail I would get a charge of excitement. The return address was the first thing to check and then see the postmark and stamp. Anything from overseas was the best (my brother served in Korea and he sent me several letters from there), but mail from anywhere was plain grand. After learning the distance the letter or card had come I would turn it over to carefully open the envelope.  I never ripped into a letter, and I would either get a knife to cut a neat slice across the top, or very carefully lift the paper along the glued edge.

Anticipation was the best part to opening a card or letter that came in the mail, actually it was the best part about going to the mailbox everyday. As I celebrated another step toward being ancient I made my daily trip to the mailbox and was pleased that I actually got two (count them, one, two) cards in the mail. There was a time that ten was more the normal, but now it is two. I did receive several e-cards, along with a slew of Facebook one liners, “Happy Birthday.”

On the one hand I was thrilled that anyone remembered my birthday at all (usually everyone forgets). I had a wonderful time going to lunch with friends and my family took me to dinner as well. On the other hand, it bothered me that I only received two cards in the mail. I miss the old days. I miss that anticipation. I miss going to mailbox everyday. Don’t you? When was the last time you received a nice letter from your Aunt who lives in New Jersey? Did you get very many cards in the mail for your birthday this year? Wouldn’t it be nice to get one?

I work for a greeting card company and I hear a lot of stories from customers who’s day was brightened just by receiving a real card made out of paper tucked in an envelope and sealed with a kiss. These are the things that make our world a better place and I, for one, will be sending more cards out this year. Let’s spread some cheer around and send a card, a note, a letter. Better yet, maybe some sand from the beach you live on, or a pressed flower from your garden. Be creative. Just send it snail mail and make someone smile.

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Filed under Arbitrary Thoughts, Dust Bunnies, Family, Holidays, Letters, Writing

BAH HUMBUG!

Thank goodness the holidays are over! I have a true LOVE/HATE relationship with the holidays, especially Christmas. This year was worse than ever and by December 15th I was ready to rip all the decorations from the tree and call it a year.  Now that 2014 is here I feel that the worst is over, yet the next holiday is looming just over the horizon. I told my family that I am thinking of traveling over Christmas next year. I would love to visit a place that celebrates with less commercialism.  I wonder what  New Zealand is like for Christmas?

I quit watching television for the past two months.  Ten minutes of commercial time to sell me on the wonders of owning a push-up bra for the holidays. Really? It wouldn’t be Christmas without the perfect cup of espresso brewed in the amazing “espresso brewer that you gotta have!”  at the very reasonable cost of $299.95 and all the while the sleigh bells ring in the background. Don’t forget the thousand ways to show Santa coming down the chimney bringing every gift you had on your list, especially the shaver that will bring flocks of  women who fall over themselves to touch your face (and no, the girls are not included with the shaver).

The crowning glory of the buying madness? Black Friday. It has become a black day indeed. One dead and numerous injuries just to get the latest and greatest version of a tablet. I have boycotted Black Friday since it’s inception. The mob madness is what the retailers depend on to push those sales to the “break even point”. The cost of doing business. BAH HUMBUG!

For the 2014 Christmas season you might find me in New Zealand on the beach enjoying a Kiwi or two.  There won’t be a tree put up and the outdoor lights will stay in the basement. My neighbors may think me a Scrooge.  The millions of dollars spent during Christmas gift giving season will be a little less in 2014.  My money will be going to the economy of New Zealand.

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Filed under Arbitrary Thoughts, Holidays