Let me ask you a simple question: Have you seen your handwriting lately? Has anyone?
The Holiday Season is the perfect time to bring out those ancient implements of tradition: a pen and paper. Remember? “Dear so and so … Merry Christmas.” Maybe not. Scratch that. Too traditional. How about “How ya doing?” Too casual? Scratch that, too. Hey, how about “Greetings of the season?” Too cerebral you think? Get the white-out. In fact, keep the white-out handy.
How about “Sweet Solstice?” Also sort a cerebral, huh? Apply the white-out. “Wonderful winter?” Actually, winter doesn’t begin until the solstice on December 21. “Festive Festivus,” you might think. What about “the rest of us” who didn’t watch the Seinfeld Show? Get the white-out. “Merry meltdown?” An old joker friend of mine suggests that this is about right.
Whatever you say doesn’t matter. The point is to connect with friends, family, acquaintances and the various “stragglers” in our lives — the people who might slip off the radar otherwise and become strangers — so they remain on the rolodex. Of course there’s Facebook, tweets and such, but electronic holiday greetings seem a bit impersonal and too easy. Besides, some of us don’t know how to tweet.
The Holiday Season is for slower “hellos.” Still, a survey published by Opinion Research Corporation suggests many will just say “no.” The study found that three in four people did not plan to mail out cards, even though the majority — 83 percent — liked the idea.
People say they’re too busy, buying and stamping cards is too expensive and it’s too much trouble to look up people’s addresses. I say reaching out to others with at least a quick message, complete with your signature, is too lovely a tradition to let drop. It passes something from your hands to theirs, representing a thought, a wish, a pause, a nod to the past, or a wink across the distance. Also it gives the sender a chance to brush up on their handwriting.
Of course, Christmas means different things to different people. For many it is a spiritual experience, the celebration of the birth of Christ, a time for giving and receiving love, an occasion to show compassion and friendship. It can also be an orgy of commercialism and self-indulgence. Some people may pray for peace on earth, others for a wide-screen TV. However, I believe we can agree that there’s nothing like Christmas morning. There is something magical about it, especially if you are a child. The Rev. Norman Vincent Peale said, “Christmas waves a magic wand over this world, and behold, everything is softer and more beautiful.” Bob Hope said, “My idea of Christmas, whether old fashioned or modern, is very simple: Loving others. Come to think of it, why do we have to wait for Christmas to do that?” I wholeheartedly concur.
May the blessings of Christmas be yours this season and throughout the coming year.
“God grant you the light in Christmas, which is faith; the warmth of Christmas, which is love; the radiance of Christmas which is purity.” (Wilda English)
Happy Holidays, everyone.