Sunday, December 28, 2008

Send one to get one

We're sporadic holiday card mailers. In fact, we rarely send cards, preferring instead to send the occasional letter complete with a photo or two every other year or so and usually written from the perspective of one of our cats (I think my father is right...we are a touch obsessed with the feline contingent here at home). We, of course, also enjoy receiving holiday cards as most people do and, upon receipt, they get taped to the door in our living room to add to the festive spirit while showing off how many people have us on their holiday list.

The trick is that you need to send cards to get cards. If you fail to send one for a year or two, you gradually begin to fall off the mailing lists of those who wrote to you in the past. And so this year, even as we wrote and prepared this year's card (an Apple card created through iPhoto...just a little unpaid product plug there), the incoming mail seemed a bit less robust than in prior years and we had to flesh out the wall of cards with the cards I received from co-workers so our "wall o' cards" wouldn't look so empty. It was clear that we'd crossed over into the "hmmm...we haven't heard from them in a while so I guess we don't need to write this year" zone, which applies not only to holiday cards but just friendly communications in general. It's remarkably easy to fall out of touch and just be in your own world. (On the other hand, maybe fewer people are sending Christmas cards in general.)

Anyhow, this round of holiday cards is step 1 in our new plan to have more of a social life and to not fall out of touch with people. We've already heard from a few people who clearly responded to our card (thanks, guys! it was great hearing from you) and we are now actively trying to find some other addresses for people who aren't where we thought they were. Hopefully we haven't lost track of them forever. You'd think that with the power of the Internet at your fingertips -- Google, LinkedIn, Facebook, online white pages, etc. -- that you can usually find someone but for the moment, a few people seem to have vanished. Still, I haven't given up hope. Besides, taking the time and putting in the effort to find these friends again is a worthwhile penance for my having fallen out of touch with them in the first place.

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