Do you still send Christmas cards? I haven’t in many years. Although I loved looking for special ones, writing messages and sending them, it became something that during our really challenging times I had to put on the back burner.
We compensated by sending cards for New Year, then moved to Valentine’s Day …but eventually that stopped as well. Not because I didn’t want to connect with people – I did. But when there seems to be so much to do, it becomes relegated to one of those things I say I will but don’t.
My daughter loves to go to the post office to check for any mail … especially at this time of year. When she got older, she wanted to be the one to carry on the tradition of buying cards. I’d sign alongside her and address them. She loved to feel that connection.
Over the years, just as we have reduced the number we send, so have others it seems. I suspect for some of the same reasons as we. Email, text, and social media greetings are also convenient and delivered instantly. But it is still exciting to receive a letter or card.
I tried to start my card sending up again during the pandemic without success. I used to always be so organized. Some grief and loss there.
This year a former workmate, who is serving at CFB Alert, offered to send postcards from the North Pole to anyone who wanted one. I asked her if she could include my daughter. Such a fun thing for kids – but I knew my daughter would love it.
When the postcard arrived, she was so surprised. I was so grateful for this kind gesture as it really made a magical moment. As we put the card on the mantle, I remarked how the only cards we had so far were all the ones my daughter had received. She smiled. I suspect, as with some others with FASD, she struggles with friendships, so the giving and receiving of the cards are special for her. This can be a difficult time for many, for many reasons, and it has at times been for us. But our life is filled with so many challenges, I appreciate when we find connection, kindness and joy.
Even though she knew that the postcard came from someone I used to work with, she still believes in Santa. We bought Pillsbury cookies to make, and she wants to buy a small container of regular milk this week because she doesn’t know if Santa can have lactose free. She really has such a kind and considerate heart. I told her I didn’t think Santa would mind the lactose-free, but she said she wanted to get him regular. So, we will.
I wonder if each year will be the last she leaves out cookies and milk. I realized in 2020 how important this belief is to her in A Day Late … but Santa Arrived. As long as she wants to believe, who am I to change it for her. I think she really knows, but the magical belief is something to hold on to in a world that isn’t always kind.
In 2021 she left another note for Santa. All she asked him for was love and happiness for herself and her family. Among the cookie crumbs he left. That is our wish for you and your family too. May you never be too old to search the skies on Christmas Eve