I love the way quality paper feels in my hands. Its sturdiness assures me that whatever art ends up on it, whether tirelessly written or absentmindedly doodled, it will somehow survive. Dozens of cards decorate our door frames. My favorites are always designs printed on heavy stock, in bright colors, and clever fonts.
The cards have been hanging here for weeks and I have read them, studied them, all several times. I reach up to open one that glitters with superficial snow. It is pretty, but too glitzy for me. I smile when I am reminded who sent it. Mom's grown harp students still send greetings at Christmas, years after their last lesson in this very living room.
"Hey, Rach, where's the one from Uncle Eddie and Kip?" I ask my sister as I wander into the dining room, my eyes fixed upon the rows of cards.
"No discussing your favorites, girls. I want one of my picks to actually place this year."
"Dad, I was merely asking where a card was, not disclosing how many points I was planning to award it. Sheesh."
"Kristin, it's in here, on the back of the door." My sister jumps up the three small steps from our family room into our kitchen. "Hey, when we're finished with this can you help me pick out my outfit for Leah's New Year's party tonight?"
"Most def. You're gonna be tote gorg."
Rachel cheers, "Abbrevs are sweeping the naish!"
Mom stops her, "Abbrevs are what now?"
"Abbreviations are sweeping the nation," our nearly identical voices reply in unison.
"Of course they are. Thom, what are these?" Mom holds up a stack of neatly cut slips of paper she found on the kitchen table. Dad's three ladies gather around and wait for his defense.
"What? Why are you all looking at me like that? I pre-printed ballots this year so I could clearly determine a winner. When I let you draw the lines and scribble the points it was impossible."
Mom, Rachel and I collectively roll our eyes all while grinning. We love that Dad still writes as precisely as the nuns taught him. We love that he instituted an annual Christmas card contest to ensure each card was appreciated. We love that he places gift wrap bows on the winning cards and saves them to hang up in following years. We love that this tradition has held so strong and so fast that our family always receives the most beautiful cards. Our relatives and friends knowingly send thoughtfully chosen "entries" each year.
"The mail is here!" Rachel hollers to us as she skips outside to the box. When she returns she shuffles through the envelopes. "No new cards today. Let the voting begin!"
Happy 2nd Birthday, yeahwrite! I have learned so much from this unique writing community. Come celebrate with us. Click on the button below to read all the other amazing entries this special week or (better yet!) link up one of your own!