When I think of those early days of mothering, taking care of my children's every need day-in and day-out--the rocking, the changing, the holding, the feeding, the smiles + coos + eye contact--those weren't just random acts being thrown out into the world with no purpose besides the actual task being preformed. We were bonding. Taking care of your baby isn't just taking care of your baby--you are creating a magical and invisible glue that binds two people together: love. You are learning and growing in love. And like most things in life, it is in the repetition of these actions that these bonds of love are formed and reinforced.
In other words, tradition.
Traditions, by nature, are meant to connect. Connect us to our childhood, to the past, to our ancestors... most of all, to each other.
The holidays are tradition. Layers upon layers of traditions. No doubt one of my very favorite Christmas traditions is the giving and receiving of family Christmas cards. Christmas cards not only tie us to each other, but they also tie us to our past. I have this strange habit of looking for objects in our modern world that have remained relatively unchanged since their origin--wooden spoons and umbrellas come to mind. I find it comforting to know that even with all our current technology there are some things we can't improve upon. And while we've drastically changed the way we communicate with each other--email, text, social media--the sending of cards and the writing of letters stands the test of time. A letter in the mail has always felt special, but even more so now as they also increase in rarity.
I think about my grandma writing her annual Christmas letter--often typing it on the typewriter then making photo copies--and placing a copy of the letter in Christmas cards and sending them off to friends far and wide. I remember once asking my grandma about someone on their Christmas card list who I had never heard of before. I learned that this was a person my grandfather fought along side in WWII. This was a person that I'm not sure he never saw again after the war, but a Christmas card kept them connected for the rest of their lives. Tradition.
A couple years ago I took a beginning calligraphy class. That Christmas I sat down and wrote every single address--to and from--by hand, practicing my script. This is now a new part of my tradition and I love it. I'm not against auto-printing envelopes, pre-printed labels or even address stamps but give me a mug of something warm, a movie playing in the background and I can sit and address envelopes with a quill and ink all night long.
And that's the beauty of our modern world--we get to take the best from the old and the new and blend them together to create our favorite combination. Which is exactly why I love Artifact Uprising for our Christmas cards. I love their simple, modern designs that have a timeless quality to them as well. And speaking of quality, they are known for their high quality prints and papers. My own personal blend of old and new goes something like this: I choose a design, upload photos, write my text and then order everything online (modern!). Then I sit down in the evening, get out my ink and quill and address each card one by one (old!), while drinking something warm and binge watching a show on Netflix (modern!).
I love walking out to the mailbox during the month of December and anticipating the beautiful cards that come in from friends and family from near and far--people that we often haven't seen in years, but who's cards I truly look forward to receiving. I love the family pictures, the well wishes and even the family update. In our ever expanding digital world, the act of sending Christmas cards feels downright old fashioned. Obviously I love blogging and social media, but neither of those things can replace an actual card, sent in the actual mail. Social media can be consumed by any and everyone. A Christmas card is sent to you.
Anyone else love Christmas card season as much as I do? You still have time to upload and order Christmas cards before the holidays! Last day for overnight shipping is Dec. 20th. You even still have time to order photo books, photo calendars and wall art from Artifact Uprising--order by Dec. 14th to ensure Christmas delivery. This Little Miggy readers can get 10% off with discount code: MIGGYXAU