Sunday, January 3, 2010

Reflecting on Christmas 2009

Jim and I put away the Christmas decorations on Friday. It is always a relief to have the house back to normal. Though I will be picking pine needles from the floorboards until May. Nearly all of the ornaments on our tree are handmade. My mom made us a few each year when she was alive, and as newlyweds with no money, I completed ornament kits each year. When the kids came along I made them each an ornament every year. Along the way my sister made ceramic ornaments for us, and other people gave the kids ornaments as well. Last year Andy asked for all of his ornaments, so I boxed them up and sent them home with him. It was odd to only see Katie's ornament on the tree this year, and none of Andy's. In a few short years Katie will take hers, and won't that be strange?

I noticed that we received fewer Christmas cards and letters this year. A sign of the economy? Or apathy? I prepare a letter each year to send out, and genuinely enjoy reading letters from other people. Most often it is the only contact we have with them in a year. How else would I ever know that the Whitty's son is a White House aid and so they not only attended the inauguration but fireworks on the White House lawn as well? One letter in particular was missed this year. One of Jim's friends from high school always sends a letter, and they have gotten weirder each year. This couple has never had children, but they do have cats. So each year we heard of the cat adventures. A couple of years ago the tone of writing changed. The CAT wrote the letter. Bizarre.... This year we eagerly awaited news of what Muffy (or whatever her name is) had been up to, as well as the two people who take up residence in her home. No Muffy...hopefully she has not gone on to the great litter box in the sky.

By far the strangest letter we ever received was from a couple we met at Iowa State. They are both engineers living in St. Louis, and they had no children. So it was odd to read in their letter about how they were remodeling the basement into a playroom for the kids. Hmmmm.... Had they adopted? No! It seems her sister was murdered by her own husband, and they now had custody of her niece and nephew. Sadly the children were in the home when the murder occurred. Oh, oh tidings of comfort and joy....

1 comment:

Mrs. Wryly said...

We experienced the same phenomenon on the dwindling of cards and letters here, too. I dwindled some off my list, so I guess that's how it goes. Names on the list that hit their expiration date.

Oh, you know what I mean.....

I leave the ornament-making to the Chinese subsidiary of Hallmark. I admire your dedications to making your own heirlooms.