My yearly visit from ‘Aunt Connie’…

How many of you still write Christmas cards? How many of you still enjoy receiving Christmas cards? While listening to the radio this morning about Decima polls which study this phenomenon, I had to ask myself the same questions. Do I write Christmas cards? Well, it’s been awhile. Email. Blog. Skype. Facebook. Sure it keeps you ‘in touch’, but can it replace an honest-to-goodness snippet of snail-mail? Something that will be lodged in your mailbox between your Northwestel and Qiniq bills?

After listening to a conversation of radio station employees about their Christmas card writing and receiving habits, it somehow made sense to me to roll out of bed at the ungodly hour of 5am and go searching for my collection. Sure enough, there among the recycled bows and tangled wrapping ribbons was a handful of memories. I’m sure everyone has that stack somewhere – read them again this year.

I’ve moved around so much in the past 15 years it’s actually amazing to see how many cards I have amassed. Most, of course, came during those Christmas holidays I couldn’t make it home, but the fact that I still have them – in northern Canada no less – is pretty amazing. The oldest one I have at this point is about 6 years old and it’s the only one which has the distinction of being ‘internationally traveled’, for it found me as I was on my way out for bulgogi and aloe juice in Seoul, South Korea.

Inside: 'And that was the last year Aunt Connie told the family Christmas story.'

How is it that my ever-growing and rotating collection of suitcases has been able to keep this piece of sturdy paper safe? I don’t have an answer for that. I can say, however, that finding it with my yet-to-be-used wrapping scraps every year is a lot nicer than sitting in front of a computer and rediscovering a note when you’re cleaning out your email inbox.

And then there’s always the note. Ok, sure, you always get those cards which just have a name after the pre-written Hallmark message, but the personalized ones are the ones that have real staying power. For example, despite the memorable picture of a ‘crazy Aunt Connie’ on the above, the real enjoyment comes from reading the scratchings of my brother on the inside; they make me think of the mischief we got up to around the holidays when we were kids. What’s funny, though, is how my parents’ cards may mirror the exact event yet describe it as ‘cute’ and what they miss. Ahh, what badness. Sean, do you remember? Gift-giving until our next ‘fight’? Bananadoo? Cu-roo-coo-coo-coo-ru-coo-coo? Perfect alarm clocks we were.

Anyway, it’s Christmas and, I’m sure, the blogoshere will be hopping again this year with nostalgic stories of ‘way-back-when’ and family and traditions…I imagine this blog will have some of the same. However, from now on I’ll try not to make it overly-sappy. Or smooshy and sentimental. Again, I will try. No promises.

Now it’s time to logoff and pick up a pen – egad! [That’s what Archie and Jughead used to say, right?] It’s time to write some Christmas cards because, although people don’t particularly like writing them, market research has proven they love receiving them. But who needs market research when it comes to some things? My imaginary ‘Aunt Connie’ has traveled the world with me and every season I get a visit – that’s proof enough.

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