Christmas Card Friends - The Way to Keep Yearly Connections with Cherished Buddies
Crazy, Busy Life
What a crazy, busy world we have! Communications move faster than sound and can be globally spread. Yet often the trade-off is less intimate, personalized exchanges with the individual recipients. One may befriend strangers who are friends of friends of friends. Yet, the small circle of people who nurture and nourish us are most often the physically close face-to-face buddies. These souls truly define friendship.
Freinds Far Away
I have friends living far away for whom I care even though we are no longer in each others’ lives on a daily or weekly basis. Some are former work colleagues. Others are school cronies or distant cousins. Since I have moved several times, former neighbors also make up part of my group of Christmas card friends. I truly look forward to the exchange of yearly greetings because I know we will get caught up.
I am not referring to cards including a 2-page single-spaced brag announcement or a blow-by-blow recounting of hideous medical procedures. I am talking about cards which include references to our common past and information which I would ask about if we were having a telephone conversation or a chat.
Treasures in the Cards
One of the treasures within the cards every year is good news about children and nieces or nephews of my friends. I delight in their good fortune – it is such a nice change from the information that newspapers and other news media choose to present to us. Since they are the young people in the families of people whose judgment and friendship I already cherish, of course, I feel that these young people deserve any and all good breaks or awards acknowledging their accomplishments. I have learned about performances in the Philadelphia Thanksgiving Day parade and awards in scouting. I rejoice in reading about good experiences at summer camps, job internships, or travel. As the years go by, I celebrate the arrival of babies of my friends’ babies.
From other friends, the annual Christmas card may bring news of professional achievements and the launching of a new business endeavor. Sometimes, I can include in my cards a note reporting that “I saw your name mentioned in a national magazine!” That is special.
I am Part of the Village
This year a card from a college friend and her husband contained sad news about a severe health challenge. The short note’s tone describing the problem and how they are tackling it as a couple absolutely humbled me. It was a gift for my spiritual growth. Recently, I had been indulging in a slight case of self-pity over disappointments (rather minor ones in the grand scheme of things) and they face a true problem. Their note pulled me back to reality and gave perspective to my life. I will be humbly writing back to send them some love and prayers.
Reliable Annual Connection
Although we may never arrange our lives to actually meet again somewhere, I do not forget my Christmas card friends. I count on receiving an update each winter. I hope they do, too. Just because we no longer live in the same neighborhood, or state, or country, does not mean we do not live in each others’ hearts. Forever.
Photo and text copyright 2011 Maren E. Morgan, all rights reserved.