I dread writing Christmas cards for a few reasons. It seems like every year I send out more and receive fewer. It's one of the things that I hang on to, a bit like the rusty and antiquated dinosaur I am.
I'm a walking contradiction sometimes. I know this. I write online. I have an entire virtual persona. I blog and admin a page on Facebook and some of my best friends are the people who only reside in my computer, and yet I crave the direct human connection. I need it. I require things I can see and feel and touch.
I still write all the important stuff down.
I like lists. They make me happy.
I resist ebooks, even though I've been a part of one that was published this year.
I like paper.
I like pens.
Get off my lawn.
I hand write the envelopes for my Christmas cards, even if I stopped writing the update letter years ago when life started to get complicated. I figure that the people who actually care either talk to me or read this and they should have a fairly good idea about what is going on. No one else cares enough, and that's fine too.
Handwriting the cards is one of those things I force myself to do even if it's outdated and old fashioned and absolute proof of my crotchety old age.
It's also one of those things that I absolutely dread doing every year, but I force myself to do it anyway.
This is why.
This address book. It's the one that I have had for every one of the fifteen years that I have been married.
I love this address book.
I hate this address book.
Every year I vow that this is going to be the year that I get a new one. My husband laughs at me and asks, every year, why I don't just keep all this information in some electronic format, you know now that we live in the digital age and all.
I shrug my shoulders, open the address book, and flinch every few pages.
This book isn't just a book of numbers and letters. No.
It's my past.
The good, the bad and the ugly.
Fifteen years of friendships that faded away. Fifteen years of people who hurt me. Fifteen years of addresses that I used to hand write envelopes to. Fifteen years of little stars and asterisks and dots beside the names of those who received a card in the mail that year.
Fifteen years of the names of people who aren't here anymore.
Fifteen years of the ghosts of Christmas past.
This year, an address underneath my Mom's name that didn't get a star next to it.
I know that I should get rid of this address book. I do.
I also know that I won't.
I know that this time next year, I will reluctantly open it up again, and I'll remember.
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