I Need to Ask You a Favor

Certain people — grandmothers, eccentric aunts, and home insurance reps — are doing their darnedest to keep a single old fashioned holiday tradition alive: the Christmas card.  These days, in lieu of handwritten heart felt sentiments, many of us have taken to more impersonal e-greetings and family newsletters composed with long-winded, North Korean-like sanguinity. 
These are sad times for Christmas cards.
Seeing as I serve as Secretariat General of the Eccentric Aunt Club, I feel it my rightful honor – nay, duty –to keep this tradition going. I will make cards. I will purchase brightly colored envelopes. I will practice my penmanship until I my wrist grows weary with fatigue and collapses forward like a flappy ragdoll. Christmas cheer will spill forth from my heart, my butt, and my mailbox. Even if it kills me.
Is it disappointing to survey my mail at the end of every December and realize that I send far more than I receive? Yes. Do I let that stop me and my extensive collection of US Postal Service issued Kwanza stamps? Like Hell It Does.
Blitzen, bring on the glue sticks! We have envelopes to seal!

I try to keep samples of my cards each year, although that rarely happens. I either forget or spill Peppermint Schnapps on it, or more likely, end up using the sample to wrap a last minute gift card to Starbucks or something. 
Holiday cheaters tip: thoughtless and/or cheap and/or obligational gifts (read: $5 gift cards) come across a lot more genuine when delivered with something handmade. Like a card. Not a gift – a card. Look, everyone likes something homemade, but honestly, you don’t have to stay up half the night crocheting pot holders for your middle schooler’s teachers. For real. Listen, that woman has been teaching 130 kids a day for 18 years now. Do you know how many effing pot holders she has already? Buy her a cup of coffee. Can’t afford the coffee? Fair enough, just give her a homemade card and let her know she is important to you and your child, and that you appreciate the hard work she puts in each day. Because let’s face it; if it comes down to someone Feeling Important in the Life of a Child vs. Potholder –which one you think she is going to choose?
Sucks to be you right now, Potholder. 
Okay. About the card. Rest assured, no valuable books were harmed in the making of these cards. I don’t have a problem with people cutting up old/unreadable books but there is a freakishly high number of Librarians who read this blog and who believe otherwise and who like to send me scathing emails so hot and pointed they’de set underpants afire.  So let’s just say I used junk mail. Telephone books, and outdated text books, and yes – a few pages from an old Hardy Boys book that was literally crumbling at the corners. I tore them into trapezoid shapes, piled them up and pasted them down with rubber cement. That’s it.
I have a thing about mail. It comes from my father.
Do you send holiday cards? Are you thinking about it this year? If you do, then,Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your ears; I have a favor to ask. 
I would like you to add one more card to your list. This is the address:
Ed and Betty Vogel
425 E. Coleman Rd.
Clare, MI 48617
Just sign your name with love. No explanation needed. A handmade card would be beautiful, but any card would be nice.
See, this Christmas is likely to be Miss Betty’s last. She was recently diagnosed with stage four lung cancer. Her beautiful granddaughter – and my fellow craft blogger, Mrs. Greene— is brightening her spirits by asking as many people as possible to send her cards. I am asking you to do the same.  Take a moment to read more about it here, then get a card, grab a stamp, and send Miss Betty a smile.
OR BETTER YET, tell someone about it! Friends, neighbors, co-workers…a blog? A church group? Tell them to send a card too. Tell everyone you know. Go tell it on the mountain, over the hills and everywhere. Go tell it one the mountain, and include THIS LINK.
 
Let’s show Miss Betty some love. Let’s share an act of kindness with a stranger and embrace the guts of what Christmas is all about. Let’s make sure her postal carrier needs a  Mack truck to deliver all that love and kindness to her front door.
Merry Christmas, Miss Betty.

Comments

  1. says

    This is so touching! I send handmade cards every year for christmas, I will definately add Miss Betty to my list. You are such a kind person for doing this, It would be nice if people like you were the rule not the exception, thank you for what you do

  2. says

    I must be a “dinosaur” because I still send Christmas cards every year. Thank you for this post…and thank you for sharing Miss Betty’s story. My card for her is going in the mail today.

  3. Whit says

    You had me weeping on the bus to work yesterday with this post. She’s getting a card all the way from South Korea. It’s being dropped in the mail today. Thanks for sharing this opportunity. ^^

  4. Roxanne Rowley says

    Thank you, Aunt Peaches. I am Miss Betty’s daughter and I am so pleased that my small idea to have friends send cards to my parents for Christmas has morphed into a huge event. I can tell you that when I talk to her everyday, she is thrilled and amazed that total strangers are sending her and my dear Papa Christmas cheer. Blessings and peace to you from a very grateful daughter.

  5. says

    Couldn’t agree more about the old fashioned cards. I recycle, I compost, I nag my kids about wasting electricity and water, I even use those horrid light bulbs that don’t really get revved up for a moment or two. Why? All in the name of green-ness and eco blah blah. BUT, that goes out the window at holiday time. I’m Jewish for christ’s sake (had dee har) and I send out non earth friendly cards to one and all. I LOVE LOVE getting hand written notes and pictures of friends and family. I always feel a bit sad when I get an ecard, its not the same. I will be sending Miss Betty a card this year-you bet!

  6. Rhonda Greene says

    Oh Peaches, thank you SO MUCH for sharing my grandmother’s story! The cards started arriving yesterday – FIFTY of them, and it’s just the beginning! She is so very moved already that so many people have taken the time to send her greetings and well wishes, and she has no idea the wave of mail that is about to hit her box!

  7. says

    Aunt Peaches, we lost my mammy a year ago to lung cancer, so you can be sure Miss Betty will be getting a card from us! (my mammy was named Elizabeth too). Now to really curl the librarians toes….my humom went to school full time and worked full time for a year….that meant she had a lot of text books to toat around back and forth to work, it got real heavy. She decided that since books were meant to be “used” she would use hers. She started ripping out the sections she needed….saved her spine a lot of pain.

  8. Jill Hart says

    What a lovely idea. I will be sure to send a card and send the link to my family and friends as well. I agree re: cards, and a hand-written note just sends me over the edge of happiness. Thank you so much for letting us share this loving act of kindness and giving. You really are a Peach….

  9. PeachesFreund says

    Man, you are a card queen Tracy! What a collection. I love confetti cards so much. They make everything better :)

  10. Chris Cameron says

    As a card maker, I love this post! One thing though, why is this season referred to in the States as ‘Holiday’ and not ‘Christmas’?

    One hand made, hand written and addressed card on its way to Miss Betty from UK.

  11. Hedda Gabler says

    I am all over this. Card out tomorrow for Miss Betty and family. And yes, I send Christmas cards every year. I’ve made them; I’ve bought them, but I always send them.

  12. says

    Peaches, you rock my world. No, really. I’ve only been following for a few weeks now, and from one awesome auntie to another, you kick some serious arse.

    Their card will be in the mail tomorrow, with every ounce of love and positive energy I can jam into the envelope with it.

    Thank you!!

  13. says

    I too love cards, hand signed & addressed, posted in the mail cards. I just took a break from going thru the last 28 years worth of cards I have kept… all the ones to & from Hubs are going in a basket on my hubs night stand, he tends to get a bit grumpy ( I think its a man-provider thing) this time of year especially when things are tight… sooooo I have a bit over a quarter of a century to remind him it aint so bad after all… then ALL the kiddos cards to us, right there too, just in case he doesn’t get it by reading ours…, yeah I am cruel that way ;D, all Cards we receive with Santa or various critters with Santa hats, are put with my Santa collection., and last but not least are the Sentimental s, from loved ones over the years, not all of them ( gees I could wallpaper our parlor if I kept them all…) just a nice representation of friends and fam, or those with handwritten notes. the rest are put in my Christmas craft box, used to make & spread more joy, usually involving LOTS of glitter!!! I don’t always send what I get, some years are too chaotic ( not a good thing) and some years I am right on it… But I love sending them as much as I love getting them, by good old post, handwritten, with xxs & ooos galore!! they tell a story bout the giver I can tell when my mom moved to Florida by all the exotic birds insanta hat cards, I have the first one my husband ever gave me way back in 1984, and I have kept the glitter and sparkles with My Aunt Lindas cards… she ALWAYS puts confetti in her cards, even now when I am almost 50…Yep I love em,

  14. Ace says

    I love sending/receiving Christmas cards!! I’ve also been known to then cut up received ones and make them into new cards in a year or two. We have a great tradition within the immediate family of sending mildly inappropriate or at least very funny cards to each other. A prime example is the card I gave my parents last year of a reindeer getting his tongue stuck to a frozen a pole.
    I haven’t made any in a while. I blame getting a masters degree. Takes a lot out of you.

  15. PeachesFreund says

    It’s true. It does take a lot of effort, and usually right when we are running low on time and energy. I send Valentines for this very reason — I know I won’t get to everyone on the list. It doesn’t mean I won’t try though.

  16. Sílvia Marinheiro says

    hello. could give me the full address. I am from Portugal and wanted to send a Christmas card to Mr. Betty. Thanks, by the way love your site and your work. <3

    thank you

  17. constance says

    I came across this post as I was searching for an appropriate christmas card craft I could do for my virtual book club. Is there someone special to send cards to this year?

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