Friday, December 23, 2016

The Cards: An Appreciation

I'll admit I punted this year. Because our Christmas card features a family wedding, I figured the biggest news needed no explanation. Of course it wasn't the only news, but I've been too busy working a new job to write much about it (or anything else).

But the incoming cards, ah, they're a different matter. They come with doves and angels and Currier and Ives-like prints of snow-covered barns. They come with messages heartfelt and funny, with invocations of peace and joy. Prayers not just for us but for our country.

And then there are the messages. "Rage against the machine in 2017." "When they go low we go Facebook." "We live in interesting times." "Wishing you a better 2017." One friend said it had been such a tough year she was just sending cat pictures.

And then there was the story one friend told about his fishing trip off the Florida Panhandle. Once the captain and guide learned that he and his family were supporters of the "Nasty Woman," he wrote, this news ignited "random guffaws among anglers and guides alike. ... We were surely at the bottom of the Gulf Coast food chain. Fish bait. Yet with their friendly advice, counsel and live minnows we reeled in some edibles."

The cards this year made me laugh and smile. They were comforting and encouraging. They were proof, I think, that we'll all be better off if can laugh at ourselves and admit that we need each other.

So this year, instead of my usual appreciation, I'm sending this one, full of gratitude for what matters most: friendship and love. I'll end it with a quotation from the same movie I wrote about before: "Remember, no man is a failure who has friends."

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