I got an e-mail from The Muses this morning. They are in France, visiting the Fates, who are taking them  to see The Bayeux Tapestry. In the e-mail The Muses said hi, wish you were here etc.
They also said ‘write about Christmas Cards”.   Really?

When I was a lad Christmas cards were an important matter to my parents. In August my brothers and I got excited about school and football games and Hallowe’en while the parents were talking about Christmas cards of all things. They would spend some time figuring out what style of cards to use. They would be ordered not bought in a store. In November the cards would arrive. Then the the production commenced. It was a family activity. LP Christmas music were played (to make the work merry) while we worked assembly-line fashion. Along with the annual ‘form’ letter, each card had to have a few lines of personalized handwritten information and/or greeting.  Mother would write in red ink. Holiday stamps were used, no rubbishy ones either.

I got to lick the envelopes.

While we worked Mother would update her Christmas card book.

This tome looked a lot like our Address/telephone book, with one important addition: it had list of whether our not we sent “A” a Christmas card, and if “A” was reciprocating.  After a few years of sending “A” a card without getting one in return, “A” was dropped from the Christmas Card book. My parents also kept a few cards in reserve, lest there was an unexpected arrival and she had to quickly write out a card.
My parents were never ‘neurotic’ about all this fuss. They were (are) good mannered folks who followed the protocol of proper Christmas Card production (WASP version).
My parents still send out Christmas cards. I don’t know too many people who still do.  I guess the time/energy/postage of hand written cards is too much to do now.  Perhaps Christmas Cards are archaic, like those LPs.

Last year The Muses sent me a rather jolly Christmas card from Barbados.