I spent a good couple of hours today doing my Christmas card prep. My process involves going through my contacts list and sending out text messages to people that I would love to send Christmas cards to. It involves putting stamps on letters, making sure that I even have enough books of stamps, and creating some semblance of organization as I write out address after address.
It's funny who and how you send your Christmas cards. As addresses start coming in, I put aside cards within envelopes that are labeled, "Mom & Dad," "Shari & Steve," "Grandma & Grandpa," etc. Then I innately hunt down names of people who I absolutely want them to know that I'm thinking about them. Not that I don't care about the 50+ people and families that will receive a card, but there's something about placing a stamp on that envelope that literally seals the deal. In that moment I'm looking for the people that I value so much in my life because, "I'm just a phone call away" isn't just a saying. They're the people who are not just friends, but family. In my flurry of addressing cards and placing stamps, that stamp symbolizes that my family's love would be sent to that person. That he or she or they would absolutely be receiving a Christmas card because I love them.
You didn't think it would get that deep? Well I took it there.
It's at that moment that you realize as you're scrolling through texts and contacts of the many people who you haven't spoken with in forever, that people once valued in your life aren't really part of your life anymore. They are the people who you spent so much time with, yet never speak to anymore. I'm specifically thinking of many of my sorority sisters. After my senior year, I lost contact with so many of them. I don't live in the Midwest anymore because of the military, so visits back to Wisconsin are difficult and I simply don't see people. It's amazing to see how that much of a difference will separate those who care and those who don't and I don't think it's a bad thing. It's sad to think that relationships that were so much fun are no longer kept but that happens. I'm realizing that as I get older, many of those friendships will flicker out. I also realize that the friendships and the people that I care so much about are the ones who are telling me that they're looking at airfare out to Montana or are surprising me with cards, letters, and care packages in the mail. I'm learning that it's good to briefly mourn those fleeting friendships but to value the ones that will last a lifetime.