The Holiday season has now officially ended

The holidays officially ended for me today because I finally took all the Christmas, New Year and Kwanzaa cards down.  Ditto for the holiday photos, which now get placed into frames or tucked  into an album, except for that of my sweet & lovely granddaughter. Her holiday photos are  framed and placed in a place of high visibility.

The living room looks lonely without the colors and illustrations of the cards. (For the first time, this year I didn’t get any duplicate cards. Not that duplicates matter – I just noticed that I didn’t.)

The cards stood three and four deep atop a wall unit surrounding a trio of poinsettias whose red leaves punctuated the cards’ gorgeous colors.  Cards also fluttered from the panes of the French door at the hallway side of the living room.

Now that they’ve gone, I don’t feel surrounded by the love and care they represented.

At least the poinsettias are going strong. I keep watering them and even though a few leaves fall each day, they are still vibrant.  I’ll keep them around as long as the leaves remain.

A few friends sent email cards instead of greeting cards this year.  It’s the thought that counts but an e-card just doesn’t do it for me like the printed cards do.  One friend who always sent a photo of herself and her husband went the e-card route this year (generic, no photo).  While I lost those greetings, I gained some as well from people in the friend circle I hadn’t received cards from before.  And, there were several photos of lovely young families with their precious babies, more than ever, as my children’s friends and cousins enter the parenting stage.

I have some friends who only send cards if they receive a card from someone.  (Can you imagine?! ) One friend actually records the cards she receives and makes her list for the following Christmas. I’m not like that.  I go through my phone book and send as many as I can.  I send out about 150 cards and could easily add 50 more to that list. 

My greeting card habit is being challenged by my environmental concerns.  I am deciding whether to discontinue the practice. But I wasn’t ready to do that in 2008. 

Most of the cards I send are made from recycled paper. 
For the past several years, I’ve sent the cards to St. Jude’s Ranch for Children.  They make new greeting cards from donated ones.
The World Environmental Organization has a few suggestions for using old greeting cards as does Making Friends

Among the recycling ideas these organizations suggest are repurposing greeting cards by making bookmarks, gift tags, and postcards from them.

Next year, I may bundle the cards for my relatives in St. Louis, sending individual cards in one envelope to my brother who will then give my mother, sister and aunts their cards when he sees them.

Saving Jobs
Sending greeting cards is my bit to help the Postal Service stay in business.  I wouldn’t want to see those hundreds of thousands jobs lost that would happen if the Postal Service went out of business which some say it should.

Not just for the holidays
I am an inveterate card sender.  I sent notes of thanks, congratulations, sympathy, encouragement, and birthday greetings.

Be all this as it may, I want to share how  grateful I feel to have received all the greeting card love I (and hubby) got this year.  Every time I went into my living room, I felt buoyed by these holiday wishes.  Thank you to everyone who took the time to drop me/us a line.



About Candelaria Silva

Candelaria Silva-Collins is a marketing, community outreach and programming consultant; writer; and trainer/facilitator who lives in Boston, Massachusetts. She has designed and facilitated workshops on a wide variety of topics including communication, facilitation, job search skills, team building, and parenting issues. She currently coordinates the Community Membership Program of the Huntington Theatre Company. Her work as Director of ACT Roxbury was profiled in several publications, including The Creative Communities Builders Handbook. Candelaria’s children’s stories, short stories, essays and reviews have been published in local and national publications and she is an active blogger. Her publications include the booklets, Handling Rejection; Pushing through Shyness: Networking Tips when You’re Shy, Slow to Warm Up or Just don’t Feel you Belong; and Real Questions about Sex & Relationships for Teens: A Discussion Guide for Parents. She has served on the boards of Goddard College, Wheelock Family Theatre, Boston Foundation for Architecture, and Discover Roxbury. She is currently Chair, Designators of the Henderson Foundation.

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