It’s funny the things that cross your mind this time of year, isn’t it? This week it has been address books.
The house is oddly bear after the annual removal of the decorations. I must admit that I am silently cheering. It is like that story, A Squash and a Squeeze. All through the festive period, the house is snug and feels small and crowded, yet in January, it seems clean and spacious once the trimmings are all back in their boxes.
Christmas cards were definitely not in abundance this year. I don’t keep a record of who I receive them from, my mum has a system and sends, ticks off when she has a card back and only sends to those who sent her one from the previous year. But I felt like I sent significantly less too. Are Christmas cards slowly dying out?
Writing the cards is a bit of ritual, a time to remember those people we might otherwise forget, thanks to the pace of life. I think that Christmas is the only time of year when I dust off my address book ready for the official ‘writing of the cards’ ceremony. I can’t even remember how old the address book is but it must be older than at least three of my children.
Each year I work my way through it, sigh at the names and addresses of friends we have lost touch with, pause and think about family members we have lost. But for all of the sadness, there is a celebration of friendships that have stood the test of time, or at least the test of no time to actually see each other anymore. Enjoy seeing the names of new friends. Except very few of my newer friends get added to the address book. They are often school mums or work colleagues who, if we are on Christmas card sending terms, get their card hand delivered with a smile.
I wonder if address books are a thing of the past too. As I flick through the pages filled with my untidy scrawl, it is one of the few places where I still write things down as most things are now online. One friend has her contacts all online and prints off address labels for her cards. I wish I was that organised. Having said that, I think having a handwritten card with a message is still worth having and I hope that people do keep up the tradition.
There was a tiny address book in one of the crackers we pulled over Christmas, about an inch square. The kids were asking what exactly an address book was and their faces were a picture? Why would you want to write down people’s addresses? Why not just contact them on social media? I did joke that with the number of people I actually send cards to these days, that tiny address book might be a perfect size. I thought it was quite funny but all it raised from the kids was an eye roll.
Maybe address books will be another of those things that disappear, another thing to add to the list of long forgotten things from our lives that our kids find completely alien? Who knows?
What about you, do you have an address book?