We spent a lot of time choosing Christmas cards this year. We don’t like the ones with glitter, we don’t like them too glossy. We didn’t want a specially printed We-Had-A-Baby! photo card. The cards we chose were simple, smart and sparse, with a decent printed message and plenty of room for supplementing that with notes to our friends and family.
Those cards are still hanging in their bag by the front door, waiting for stamps, addresses, and special messages. It’s Christmas-Eve-Eve. There’s just no time, alas, no energy or patience for trips to the post office or to look for the address book. It makes me a little sad.
JSTOR Daily had an article this week on the history of the American Christmas card tradition. I always love to read things like this. I was especially interested in this bit:
In “The Female World of Cards and Holidays: Women, Families, and the Work of Kinship,” Yale anthropologist Micaela di Leonardo explains that the practice thrived amid postbellum industrialization and the demise of the family farm. As relatives spread out geographically, women assumed responsibility for “the work of kinship” and became caretakers of extended family connections. Christmas cards were a convenient way for them to nurture relationships among their husbands, children, and distant relatives.
I suppose I knew this already, that Christmas cards are “the work of kinship.” The thing I’m telling myself, this year, is that this blog is also doing some of that caretaking work. Our family and friends are spread far and wide. This website keeps us close to them…or tries to, at any rate.
And so, dear friends and loved ones, we wish you a very happy holiday, from our little family to yours. May all your days be merry and bright.
Photo by Devin Nutter Photography. Snowflakes are purely wishful thinking, as the forecast for Christmas here is 75 degrees and rainy.