Sunday, December 4, 2011

Advent Calendar - Christmas Cards Aren't What They Used to Be

It used to be the best spot to display Christmas cards.
Remember when the snows were deeper, the winters colder and Christmas cards flooded your home every year?  (Those were the same years we walked five miles to school every day, uphill both ways.)

No, really, there more Christmas cards back then.  In fact the mail carrier, he really was a mailman, trudged through the snow twice a day during the weeks before Christmas.  And it was so much fun to see what every delivery brought.  Not that many of those cards were addressed to us kids.  But there was always such a variety to look through.

In our house these cards were displayed variously.  At least one year they were on the fireplace - which was brick all the way to the ceiling.  Hint - taping to unpainted brick doesn't work, regardless of your tape choice.  For several years they were displayed on the opaque fiberglass divider between our dining room and front hall.  But then all we could do was admire them from a distance, or climb around the potted plants to read them again.

The best spot for card display was around the built-in dining room shelving.  Everyone passed them going to and from the kitchen.  And we could read at least some of them repeatedly, except maybe those that were way up near the ceiling.

TRAEA's Grandma and Grandpa later tried to replicate some of that same festive look in our home.  For years we faithfully taped cards around the archway between our living and dining rooms.  Then we repainted over the tape residue, this grandma became lazy, the price of postage convinced more people that Christmas cards weren't worth the effort and the annual Christmas letter became as much a point of humor as the fruitcake.

We still send a few cards - including a genealogy-based update to family, some of whom actually care.  And our the mail carrier, a lady, still delivers a smattering of cards, usually also from family.  But we don't tape cards up for display, instead collecting them in a decorative basket, where anyone who wants can read through them - although most people don't.

Christmas cards may just be going the way of that walk to school that was uphill in both directions.  Sigh.

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