Friday, December 14, 2012

HANGING OUT

I mentioned earlier this month a little tradition I've started in recycling old Christmas cards ("Recycling Christmas 12/3/12), but the dilemma about what to do with the other massive amounts of cards we receive haunts me and adds to the ever-growing list of things that keep me awake at night.  Many people display their cards on pianos in the living room, proudly plop them on a mantle, stick them on the refrigerator or place them in a basket and throw it somewhere hoping to look "festive."  Other well-known designers suggest making a card tree or popping holes in them and dangling them from the family tree like ornaments.  Here's the thing about that idea: clearly these designers are sending themselves cards, because in the images they display all of the cards are monochromatic, they're all the same size and, shockingly, they all tend to blend with the decor in the house.  Not the case with my holiday cards..usually opening them means bits of sparkle falling everywhere, some are shaped like Mickey Mouse, others are the size of coffee table books, some have photos of precious kids and then there's always the well-intentioned but incredibly wordy holiday letter from that person we can't quite remember.  But, unlike the perfectly designed snooty decorators card tree, our collection is a snapshot of the people we care about and, in my opinion, the point of this holiday.  I like to display our cards so we can read them throughout the holiday.  I use a hole punch to make a hole in the top, add an ornament hook and hang them all over the house.  While entertaining during holiday parties, guests wander and are invited to read the wonderful cards that fill our home with love and warmth and we are reminded to reflect, cherish and enjoy the ones that make our lives so fulfilling.
I wrote and posted the above before realizing the enormity of the tragic events that occurred just 40 miles east of our home in Newtown, Connecticut this morning. While unimaginable, the horrific events remind us how important it is to hug the ones we love, value our relationships, be kind to strangers and enjoy every minute of this precious opportunity of life we've been given.