Looking ahead, it's almost time for that yearly tradition, the selection, signing, addressing, and sending of the holiday card. Although many people have cut this tradition from their holiday schedules due to time or money constraints, I still find this to be a meaningful and enjoyable ritual for me and I look forward to it. I used to also write and include a photocopied holiday letter updating everyone on our family life - although some folks scoff at that, I certainly appreciated receiving them and tried to make mine enjoyable for others to read. But now, between email and blogging, I figure if you don't know what I've been up to recently then you're living in a previous century and need to find yourself a time machine and catch up with the rest of us.
Although I still enjoy sending cards, I don't send as many out as I used to (postage is pricey!) and I usually, though not always, stop sending if someone skips me for more than a couple of years so as not to make them feel uncomfortable at not reciprocating. I don't celebrate Christmas in anything but a secular Santa sort of way, so I don't send out a "Christmas card". I send out a "Yule card" to Pagan or Pagan friendly friends and find something multi-holiday-ish or simply a scene of nature or peace for the rest of my list of friends and family which includes Christians of all kinds and flavors, agnostics, Jews, atheists, Humanists, and families with a mix of several different paths. I try to select a card for each recipient that speaks not only to me but to the person or family receiving it.
In an ideal world I would be all artsy and make my cards. The problem is, I went through a "buy it all on sale for next year!!!" stage where I bought a lot of boxed cards several years in a row. I've managed to collect an entire box (and by this box I mean one of those mega-sized, lidded, plastic storage crates!) of boxed cards and I just can't bring myself to toss or donate them and start anew. Second problem is there's only so much time in a holiday season and so it's probably a good thing I don't add to my already unrealistic holiday expectations.
Still, it's rather fun to drag in the box from the garage late every November and dig through it to choose a card or more likely several collections of cards that has the right feel for each year. There's usually one or two cards left from previous choices and it's like a museum of holidays past. I can see my "bringing home the tree" image stage and the "cat in front of a blazing hearth" stage and the "teddy bears and little kids" stage and the "retro" stage. There are a few quirky finds and some that are surprisingly traditional.
I probably won't be in the market for cards for many years to come - maybe never again if I follow through with designing my own cards some day. But if I were gonna buy some cards for this year, I would soooooo want to buy these! You can find them at Ophilia's Art.
Don't we all look forward to the annual bringing home of the Yule tree? Does anyone ever stop to think that it doesn't really end well for the poor tree? LOL.