Simple Things: The Pleasure of Late-Season Cards

December 25, 2021

Simple Things: The Pleasure of Late-Season Cards


The first Christmas card showed up in our mailbox a few days after Thanksgiving this year, as usual. The early card-senders always amaze and scare me a little with their incredible organization skills and timeliness. Their pantries are probably organized alphabetically and I bet they never get dangerously low on toilet paper or let their gas tanks get down to E, either.

Early Christmas card from the Victoria and Albert Museum collection

Maybe in my next life I’ll be an early card-sender, but in this one, I’m feeling pretty successful if I get them postmarked before Christmas. And hey, if they arrive after Christmas, they stand out since they’re not arriving in a pack with others, right?

In past years, I felt like my late-season card-sending habit was an outlier, as most of the cards we received from friends and family arrived by mid-December, latest, and then stared at me from their perch in a display atop the piano, reminding me every time I walked by that I haven’t done mine yet.

This year, it has been remarkably different. Aside from the one that I can almost swear smelled slightly of turkey and cranberry sauce in a can and cornbread dressing because it came so soon after Thanksgiving, there has been a slow but steady trickle of cards all month, with an uptick this past week. A couple of days ago, on Wednesday, December 23, there were five Christmas cards nestled in the mailbox along with the bills and flyers for things we don’t want. Five people like me who didn’t get up at 5:00 a.m. on Cyber Monday to stamp and send their cards. Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus!

I was so pleased to get these late-season cards. I spent time with them, slowly reading the letters and updates, enjoying the pictures, cursing under my breath at the ones with the heavy foil envelopes because they’re harder to tear open with bare hands. (Even if we had a letter opener, I wouldn’t know where it was. I’m just not that person, and, as you’ve probably guessed, my pantry is not organized alphabetically.)

Something about getting these cards so close to Christmas made me happy, as if I’m not the only one in the world who doesn’t finish shopping and wrapping and Christmas-card-sending in the first week of December.

If you sent me a card that won’t arrive until tomorrow, the day after Christmas, rest assured that I will treasure it, savor it, and put it at the top of the holiday card display atop the piano. Just as I hope my late arrivals will be treated and treasured.

Simple things, simple pleasures, treasures of the season – that’s what it’s all about.

Merry Christmas!!!

© 2021, Glover Gardens

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