If you got the reference in that title – congratulations, you lived through the 1980s and are more than likely to ache when you get out of bed in the morning.
“The Twelve Pains of Christmas” is a song from the 1988 humorous Christmas album Twisted Christmas by Bob Rivers and is the song from which I borrowed one of the lyrics for this post title. During the late 1980s and early 1990s it would often pop up on local radio stations, each verse highlighting another holiday frustration, from stringing up the lights that won’t work, to dinner with unfriendly relatives, and of course, sending Christmas cards.
And I’ve been thinking a lot about Christmas and holiday cards as of late.
Sure, in some ways they can come off as just another tradition, ritual, or an additional ‘pain of Christmas’ that just needs to get crossed off the list so it can land in a mailbox and possibly on someone’s wall as part of their holiday decorating. And in this technological age that allows us to know, for better or worse, what everyone we know is thinking, doing, all the time, these cards may not serve the same purpose they did oh so many moons ago when letter writing and postcards were the primary way of communicating and catching each other up on life.
But the other night, I found myself staring off at a string of cards draped across a wall in our home, and I realized that while the correspondence component of holiday cards may not serve the same purpose they once did, they serve as something else this time of year – a reminder of the many faces and lives that we’ve had the honor to be a part of and to know. Faces and names familiar today or perhaps once upon a time, maybe a world away, but still in our hearts and our memories. Faces that bring about the sort of warm familial feelings that are at the very core of the holiday season.
A reminder that no matter who we are or where we’ve landed, that there are lives we’ve touched, memories that have intersected, and moments etched in our hearts for years to come.
May we all be so lucky to have a greeting or two, a face that makes us smile and brings about the thought of good times, cross our mailbox, during the holidays or any time of year.