I’ve begun to write out my Christmas cards. At the top of my Christmas card list are my closest blood relatives. The most obligatory of the cards, not necessarily for the people I’m closest to but for the people I’m loyal to.

I am as loyal to my friends as I am to my family. And I understand we are supposed to honor our parents, but it can be difficult to write out a greeting or to stand there in the Hallmark store and pick out a parents day card for them when there is a lack of closeness and authenticity in your relationship.

Holidays are tough when the sentiments don’t match the realities. When you have lost a person you loved, or the person you should have loved you, is lost, it’s empty. That disparity can cause the meaning of Christmas to lose it’s iced gingerbread flavor.

So I send out the cards to everyone I care about and tell them I appreciate them. This is a Christmas tradition that, although time consuming, is more about the giving than the getting. Good Cheer is spread through written and spoken well wishes and I find them self-affirming.

Do you send out cards? Are they homemade or bought? Does your edit list get edited when you send cards to people who don’t send them back? What is your ritual?

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