Christmas cards have always been part of our family's Christmas tradition. My parents and my grandparents enjoyed writing and receiving cards and displayed them in various ways during the Christmas holidays. Most often, the Christmas cards were taped around a doorway or displayed on something that resembled a small clothesline. I still recall the many colorful card designs of nativity scenes, holly, candles, and snow scenes. As a child growing up in Mississippi, I really didn't understand why anyone would send a Christmas card with a snow scene. I had seen a snow flurry only once, when I was ten years old, and we certainly had never had a White Christmas!
My grandparents especially cherished the cards they received from cousins and other relatives who had moved out of state and would not be home for the holidays. Of course, keeping in touch during those years meant writing a card or a letter. We did not have a phone until I was nine years old, and the age of the Internet was still dozens of years away. Although e-cards and emails have now become part of our culture, for me there is no substitute for the genuine paper Christmas card that I can feel and touch. I am a keeper of cards, and my Box of Memories contains many precious Christmas cards from years past that included handwritten notes from close family and dear friends.
Our family's Christmas card tradition has endured, and my adult children now send cards, too. I especially like cards that depict religious art, children, and nature scenes. At our house, we always wonder whose Christmas card we will receive first - will it be from old friends who now live a thousand miles away, from one of the grown-up kids, or will it be from a neighbor down the street? I suppose this is just part of our overall anticipation of Christmas and the joy and wonder the season brings.