You're probably thinking that I'm either 1) a big procrastinator or 2) a big Christmas lover. Yes on the first, not so much on the second.
But with holiday decorations now for sale in all the stores and musicians tweeting about the release dates of their Christmas albums, and even having to make some Christmas plans already, this is on my mind. I may do a separate blog later about how I feel about Christmas and why, but today I will tell you about something I love about Christmas.
Getting photos and cards from friends and family!
In this age of electronic everything, I treasure getting an envelope in the mail with a real photo of someone I love (or at least am mildly interested in). And there's no time I get more of these than the holidays. As you've seen from previous posts on the roses and letters, I tend to keep things people give or send me. Along with holiday photos (I don't keep just cards, only the photos), I keep baby announcements (with photos), wedding invitations (from people who send photos along with or after), and just recently (as a true sign of getting older), graduation announcements.
From the arrival of the first holiday card, usually from my friend Shannon in November, through mid-January, my refrigerator is decorated with the smiles, creativity and thoughtfulness of friends and family from all over the world.
|I actually took this picture in January, when I intended to do this project and blog about it!|
They are usually put away towards the end of January. By "put away" I mean organized and placed into a photo album. This year, though, they sat on a shelf in a growing pile until today.
|One big pile of love|
|Organized by relationship or event|
I started this album in 2005, the year we got married. It's full of stories now. The stories are mostly of families' changing dynamics, from the wedding invites to the baby announcements to the holiday pictures with one, two, then even three new faces added in these five years. For some, the narrative of the years shows heartache and redemption: one year a happy couple and their babies, the next the split-up couple and their kids separately, and maybe the next a new face in the happy couple with an extra kid or so. There are also the rare ones of single friends, celebrating the adventures of their unbound lives (I do not keep pictures of friends' animals only... eh hem, you know who you are).
I love flipping through this album from time to time, reading the stories in these faces. I remember days with some when the faces in their pictures were the substance of things only hoped for.
|One of my favorite pages this year, my grad school girls' lovely girls! (and also a good reason for Blueberry to be a boy!)|
I look at others and imagine what new faces will be added in the years to come, what other's answered prayers will look like.
Today, as I finally added almost an entire year of new entries, I used the last page in the album. And I got just a tiny bit excited about the holidays coming, which means, in part, the start of a new album! I want to run out and buy it right now, but it's raining and I'm still in my pajamas, so I probably won't until sometime mid-2011!