I admit it. I enjoyed every sugary morsel that came my way for Christmas. Thank you, Yvonne, for the tin of pralines and other treats from River Street Sweets of Savannah, Georgia. Chocolate, butter and sugar swirled on my tongue. This sweet indulgence really lit up my brain’s pleasure centers. I am not really feeling guilty about it either.
For many, the guilt that comes after shopping, gifting and overeating during December is a propellant for New Year’s resolutions. There will be no long list of incredible resolutions composed at the end of December to assuage my guilt. Resolutions will not be allowed for January 1.
What will be allowed are simple, realistic goals. I have two goals for the year ahead. They both involve communication. One goal is to pick up the phone and call people who I often think about but have not talked to in a long time. I want them to hear my voice. I want to let them know they matter to me. Even a brief conversation can create and reinforce spiritual connections.
My other goal is to keep those cards and letters going to friends, families and acquaintances. One of the most dangerous places for me to be is a card shop or a stationery store. Now, courtesy of the internet, the world of card shops is at my fingertips. I love getting cards in the mail, knowing someone has taken the time to think of me. Someone has found a sentiment just for me. Sometimes I will buy a card because I know, one day, a perfect occasion will arise to send it.
I love writing notes and letters on fine stationery. Writing with a fountain pen makes it a grand ritual. Sometimes a printed letter on copy paper will do. Using gold stickers or wax to seal the envelopes is the perfect regal touch. Colors and patterns evoke the mood of my missive. Yes, I will admit, I coordinate the color of the postage stamps to the envelopes. I also check for postage stamps featuring people, events or themes in which my friends may have an interest.
Being able to select from a variety of subjects and colors of postage stamps online, make a purchase and then have my stamps delivered in the mail brings joyous relief. No more standing on-line at the post office. I confess. I used to promote the Stamps By Mail® program when I worked in the Communications Department of the U.S. Postal Service. I am still a customer.
My collection of stationery includes lots of note cards of varying designs and textures. For the times when a few words of greeting are just enough, picture and art postcards will do. I do not need a special occasion to send a card or a letter. Each day can be made special. Sharing a favorite article, photo or sentiment makes the moment special for the person who receives it.
I know a card or letter will brighten someone’s day – it does mine. Every time I come across an old card or letter and hold it in my hands and begin to read, I relive that brightness. What a treasure.
Photo: Stationery for Sale, by Katharine Sparrow, http://www.stockvault.net
Photo: Stipula fountain pen, Power of Words by Antonio Litterio, Creative Commons, Wikipedia
Image: Star Trek Forever stamps, U.S. Postal Service, to be issued in 2016, honoring the 50th anniversary of the television premiere
Photo: Blank Vintage Postcard, Grunge Edition, by Nicolas Raymond, http://www.stockvault.net