I was going to make this post a rant about how just because I'm married people I've known all my life have suddenly started addressing mail to me as Mrs. Fuzzy'sLastName, and not just MissMeliss, and how this annoys me, because a) I've never introduced myself as Mrs. Anything. Mrs. is not a title I use. If you want to formally address me, use Ms. If you want to address something to my husband and me, “MissMeliss and Fuzzy FuzzysLastName” is my preference. I don't believe in false formality, and I DO believe that people should be called what they WISH to be called. Mind you, if you do use Mrs. as your title, then, hey, cool. But it's not me. It hasn't been me in the nearly eleven years I've been married. It will never be me.
But I'm not going to rant about that, because after eleven years, people should know, and because it's almost Christmas, and who wants to read rants at Christmas?
Instead I'm going to talk about Christmas cards. I love them. I love them for the pictures on the fronts, as well as for the words inside, which, hopefully, are added to in an inky scrawl, and not just perfunctorily signed. I love the surprise of getting a card from someone I've been meaning to contact for too long, and then finally call because the card makes me, and I love the anticipation, as December grows nearer, of receiving the first card in the mail.
My aunt sends me a small advent calender card (sans chocolate) every year – it's become a personal ritual, and one I love. My mother's cards are homemade, printed on her printer, and feature pictures of her beach – this year she forgot to leave room for an address box, so randomly wrote the TO addresses, and frankly, I'm amazed we all received the cards. My grandmother used to begin every card with “Hi Darling,” and it took me til I was fifteen to realize it was because she often didn't remember where the card would end up. “Hi Darling” was her generic family greeting. (It was also the only line many of us could read – my grandmother had abysmal handwriting.)
Today, I came home to find not just cards, but COOKIES waiting for me, and my mood went from tired and crabby to tired and hopeful, just because of a few cards.
(The practical upshot of all this: If you're one of my friends in Europe or the UK, or in Canada, or in the third batch of names on my list, your card didn't go out til today because I'm lazy and slow, and have been really sick. Um. They should get there by Epiphany. That counts, right?)
Cards by Melissa Bartell is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.