For those of you who know me well, you know that I lost my Grandmother back in August of 2007. In case you don’t know anything about me, she was the woman who raised me as one of her own daughters. Christmas that year was one of the hardest times in my life. It was hard to find the Christmas spirit when she was no longer physically with us. It took me all December to find her again and my Christmas spirit.
I believe that when people pass away they leave lots of unfinished business but I also believe that they leave behind little helpful landmines to help those that they have left behind to move on. By landmines I mean little reminders, memory triggers, distractions, or something that will help ease the mind of the grieving loved one.
I can’t remember exactly whether it was the Christmas of the year she passed or whether it was the following year, but I came across some correspondence. Most of which was Christmas correspondence. Letters and cards written between my Grandparents, Aunts, and Uncles, and other family members and friends up and down mainly the East Coast. Most of the letters were written from our cousins in Everett, Massachusettes or my Grandfather’s mother in Florida to my Grandmother. I didn’t know my Grandmother use to write so many letters. I guess I always assumed because my Grandfather was the writer in the family that he was most likely the one to keep up with all the letters and such. But I was wrong. My Grandmother exchanged letters and cards often with a variety of family members and friends across the miles.
A few letters in particular that stood out to me were the everyday letters and the holiday letters exchanged between my Grandmother and her mother-in-law. My great Grandmother had the most beautiful cursive hand writing and she wrote so eloquently. My first thought was envy and remorse. Envy because I wish I kept in better touch and wrote as much as she did to family, friends, and loved ones. And remorse because since the progression of technology and the internet people are less and less in touch with their loved ones. Our nation’s postal volume has declined over the years not just because of the slow migration of clients to electronic alternatives, but also because of the decline in the economy. My curiousity was sparked and I wondered how much interest the nation had lost in old-fashion holiday correspondence. I did some research and according to the Washington Post the U.S. postal volume has sharply declined during the seasonal and holiday quarter, which was previously projected to be the best time of year for the United States Postal Services.
My Great Grandmother’s letters to my Grandmother inspired me to improve on my old-fashion correspondence. My goal was to send out an unbelievable number of Christmas cards last year, but due to unexpected debt my Christmas goal was downsized. But this year I get another chance to achieve my holiday goal. One of my biggest problems every Christmas since I was a kid was always procrastinating until the last minute to write my Christmas cards. Since I always procrastinated I never gave myself enough time to complete all my cards, especially to my standards. I am a passionate writer and part of my goal was to write a detailed letter in every card, longer than your normal Christmas card, to various loved ones across the miles.
I have recently been working on various projects for Hallmark’s greeting card competition themes and also for my own collection. I actually want to have a greeting card line one day. Anyone that knows me will agree that I should already have one by now or in the near future. Anyways each competition is held a month or two before its projected release date. So, this inspired me to start my holiday correspondence early this year.
My first 15 Christmas cards were written yesterday burning the late night oil. I figure if I complete a projected number of cards each day throughout November and December I will have a better chance of meeting my goal. This way I won’t feel rushed or stressed out. Plus, financially it’ll give me time to budget my expenses and plan for Christmas. It’ll also give me time to plan which to mail and which to hand deliver. So come early December I will be contacting people for addresses. Ahead of time, if I missed you I am extremely sorry. I decided to write as people popped into my head. When I write Christmas cards I love listening to holiday music and watching holiday movies to inspire and get me into the early spirit of Christmas.
On a similar note I came across a book a few years ago called Christmas letters and it’s perfect to go along with my Christmas goal. I began reading it awhile ago but never finished it. So I will keep you up to date on my progress and my status in the book. I will also share my thoughts along the way both from writing holiday cards and reading the Christmas letter book.
I hope I inspire someone somewhere in the world to attempt a similar goal, if even only to mail out a few.
Sweet Dreams everyone, just wanted to share one of my new endeavors….Love Katie
I wish you could see the piles and piles of cards left over from previous attempts.