In our family, we sure do like to relax for those first few days after Christmas. We eat a lot of cookies. We veg in front of the TV watching movies and reruns. We sing along to Christmas music and often rewrite the lyrics with unsuitable words. We play with our new gadgets. We sleep until 9 a.m. and rarely change out of our garish reindeer pajamas.
Then lightening strikes around 6:55 a.m. on December 29th.
On that day, at 7:30 a.m., and after half of a pot of coffee, I become completely possessed. I discard and recycle everything disposable in sight with wild and reckless abandon. Stash, store, clean, go go go ! I’m a woman on a mission and I cannot be stopped !
Finally, three days later, the decorations are stored, the pine needles are vacuumed, and the dried out fried-to-a-crisp greenery is disposed of in the proper receptacle.
Yet when it comes to the storing or stashing, disposing or recycling of Christmas cards, I hesitate. For me, Christmas cards have real sentimental value.
Years ago, when I was first married, I began filing the best of those holiday cards in an oversized scrapbook.
We receive a medley of greetings year after year, from the elegant cardstock of William Arthur, to the corny mass printed letters from witty relatives.
Many folks spend hours cataloguing their lives, and simply I cannot bear to part with any of these mementoes, especially if they contain photographs.
Cause I get all gushy and mushy when it comes to sweet holiday pictures of families.
And how funny to document in this treasure of a scrapbook that we’ve received the very same card from 100 year old Grandma Verna for three years straight. We’re pretty sure she doesn’t even know it.
Now that’s priceless.
I’m a sucker for a great scrapbook, aren’t you ? I love to thumb through their pages and look back on history. There’s something about looking on printed pictures and mementos on paper, rather than a computer screen, that really gets me. I keep our album on display in the family room all season long, and I treasure the looks on visiting friends’ faces when they see one of their old cards or letters nestled within.
Look at our innocent faces, full of youth, yet to inherit our wrinkles, unaware that the next decade brings Y2K, 9/11, a real estate boom, two more children, a real estate crash, a crazy remodel, texting, Twitter, and all of the other recent phenomenons.
Our album holds many treasures, like cards from longtime friends. . .
. . . and cards from former colleagues. This one is strangely reminiscent of my daughter’s requests on Santa’s lap just a few short weeks ago.
The almanac holds old party invitations, family photos, and other precious memories of holidays gone by.
Like that one year Mr. CG donated a rare coin in the annual Salvation Army kettle dual between the local police and fire department to tip the scale in the fire department’s favor.
All the silly, sweet and sentimental stuff I treasure from Christmases gone by.
I wish I had the skill and patience to scrap other life events like baby births or family vacations but I don’t. Yet I do treasure this old album. It’s the very last thing I put away in January and a great reminder of the joys of the season from years past.
How about you ? What do you do with your holiday cards ? Do you keep them ? Scrap them ? Toss them ? Do tell !