To the editor:
Christmastime's upon us once again; indeed time's growing short, and many of us find ourselves receiving a visitation by a disturbing holiday spirit.
I refer not to some Dickensonian revenant such as the ghosts of Christmas Past, Present, and Yet-To-Come, but to the spectral Spirit of the Unreciprocated Christmas Card. Often we relate, having taken time out of the season's universally-hectic schedule, carefully, lovingly perusing address books, choosing special friends and relatives amongst acquaintances who'll receive a few individual moments of our thoughts and memories, that most sought-after treasure of the mailbox, the Christmas card.
How many hope that once having sent out this missive of good will and seasonal cheer most poignant at this time of year, others may deign to feel the same way about us, only to find our efforts unrequited?
Receiving back as many cards as one sends out isn't a holiday trophy-hunt; rather, it's knowing you took time out of an over-laden, frenetic schedule to tell someone "You're special; knowing you feel good, being allowed to be part of your life, having you as part of mine," that someone else cared enough to tell you the same.
Often we receive cards or gifts, happily pocketing them in our emotional "plus" column, while discarding our duty and desire to give a heartfelt thank you acknowledging the privilege of being special in someone's life. Well-wish senders like feeling they were special, too. A reply's personification reaches out giving the recipient a smile's warmth, an endearing hug, the hand's clasp, so sorely missed when others don't take time and effort (so great a burden?) to say, "I care, too."
Few are really so overburdened by time, expenses, or circumstance that they truly cannot find the ability to stop and care. If so, my heart goes out to them. Greater than my disappointment, though must be that of those who're shut-ins, hospitalized, serving our military, who'd like nothing better than to receive such a card - a missive from someone's heart - the best care package of all. Thinking of them, I find my disappointment diminishes to almost nothing at all.
The season's holiday (Life) is fleeting: Those who've sent out cards this year, congratulations. Those who haven't, there is still time. Those feeling the repentance of Ebenezer, welcome back most heartily to the caring Spirit of Christmas.