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Re: Kicking It: 'Who's Counting?' [Village News, Letter, 2/29/24]

Dear Elizabeth,

I appreciated your column "Who's Counting?" and recognized myself! My mom always sent photo cards every Christmas since I was born (55 years ago). When grandbabies came along, they were included too.

I continued the tradition when my first child was born (31 years ago). A photo card of the baby, then the second baby, sometimes with the adults, sometimes without. When I got divorced and moved to another state, I made sure the kids and I were featured prominently to let everyone know we were doing okay.

One year I sent about 80 out and, in January, I got phone calls and emails concerned about me because they didn't get a card. They were worried I was sick or otherwise not doing well. We later figured out that the cards were stolen from the public mailbox. Grrrrr.

In 2007, my mother died unexpectedly of a brain aneurysm. When I went through her "Christmas card list," which was essentially a recipe box full of index cards with people's addresses on them, I saw she had jotted down the years she sent cards with a check mark if she received one back. I sent a note to all these people informing them of her death.

And I got several cards and emails saying they only interacted with her once a year (at Christmas) and how sad they would be that they would no longer get her holiday greetings and how much they enjoyed watching me, my brother, and now our children grow up.

So, I still send about 100 cards out every year, and about 30 go to my mom's "Christmas card list." I only got about 30 back this year. Plus, I think the younger generation just doesn't do it, seeing how we all see everyone's business on social media.

But I keep doing it because I figure some people just can't get it together to send out cards but enjoy hearing from us. One of my mom's friends was too scattered to send them at Christmas so she sent them at New Year. Then she couldn't even do that so she'd send "Chinese New Year" cards. She's not Chinese, ha-ha.

My godmother (who does send a card every year), keeps all the photo cards in a photo album. 55 years of them.

Ironically, the postage costs more than the cards, am I right?

I figure, keep sending. Even if they don't reciprocate. They brighten someone's day. Maybe their year.

Stephanie Gaddis


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