The lists

I started doing my Christmas cards today and it got me to thinking which we all know can be extremely dangerous. I have lists. Oh boy, do I have lists. Years of them. Coffee stained, hot cocoa stained, wrinkled, torn, scribbled. Some in pen, pencil, different colored highlighter, dates, stapled, clipped… Let’s just say they’re well worn. 

I was flipping through my lists, looking at what I had to do, counting (I KNOW!!) and trying to figure out a master game plan. 

But as I was flipping, and looking and counting, it dawned on me, how in the past 25 years each and every name on these lists has had some impact on me. Has touched my life in some way. And I marveled at the fact that in all of those lists, only a scant few were crossed out to not send a card. Name after name after name of a person to reach out and send a card to and let them know in some small way, “You had an impact on my life this year!” or “Hey, remember me? I know we haven’t talked since LAST Christmas, but I was thinking of you and hope you’re well.” or even a “Hey, we may have our differences, but it’s Christmas, so let’s bury the hatchet and have a drink!” 

It’s nice to see some names on the lists, and sad in other cases. Very sad in tracing my fingers over the lines crossing off a name. But overwhelmingly, it’s joyful! JOYFUL!!!! So wonderful to see the names of high school friends who still laugh at inside jokes, so amazing to see names of people I just talked to yesterday, but they’re getting a silly card from me tomorrow! JOYFUL!!

I might consider consolidating my lists into one list this year after the holidays. Maybe. But I almost think it would take some of the nostalgia away. The years of revising would be gone. The pink highlighter. The pencil (because a certain someone seems to want to move around a little too much and now I ONLY write her address in pencil), the coffee stains, the wrinkles. The lists seems to have aged like me. Maybe I should keep them just the way they are.   

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