Thursday, December 21, 2006

'tis The Season ...

The cards come ... the ones without letters, or at least notes, get a glance. The notes and letters tell of a year's elapse. Mostly the children, whether mere babe's like Laryn's or grown and with their own children. Strange things happen as we get older ... members of our own generation, cousins we've rarely communicated with since our teen years suddenly begin to send cards or write letters. And the younger generation like Laryn who, in fact, I've never met, (the daughter of my cousin Sharon) -- once she got married she began sending cards and announcements of her children's birth. It makes me feel a bit like a gray eminence esconsed in my NYC tower, a bit exotic, probably weird [the word eccentric is not a common part of my family's vocabulary]. But I've always enjoy my position in the famly as the One Who Went to New York.

[This is my Christmas in August star quartet quilt - one of the quartet series]

Many friends' letters tell also of moves from the family house to a new, smaller house or apartment. Trips to Florida, or Maine, retirements, new intersts, volunteer activities. Fortunately among most of my usual Christmas time correspondents few serious illnesses have been reported. Most of us are living busy, full lives -- this is a new phenomenon in the world. Most of us are just a few years ahead of the baby boomers, we're the vanguard, really, we're setting the example. I think we're doing a very good job of it.

Most people are conscientiously politically correct. They wish "happy holidays" and few send overtly religious cards except to those they know share their beliefs. I don't know how much political correctness has reached the every day people of the so called heartland of the country; but certainly here in NYC it's everywhere. In the lobby of my apartment building there is the usual tree and on the mantel the menorah -- tonight's the last night of Chanukah but I imagine it will sit there until the tree is taken down. Kwansa hasn't reached this part of the Upper West Side although I suspect twenty blocks further north there are lots of signs of this newest American December holiday.

For the time being, people have a new comment when parting -- have a good holiday, a merry Christmas, a nice trip to see the family -- it's a good change from have a nice day/evening.

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