Monday, January 9, 2017

2016's Christmas card loot

The season's over, and I have to stash away my increasingly paltry collection of hard-copy Christmas cards. In my computer hard drive and Google Drive, I've saved the letters and cards sent by email.

I sent out over 20 cards and postcards by what's known as "happy mail," complete with stamps, as early as the first week of December. The addressees acknowledged my letters by email and text. I'm almost tempted to enclose a SASE, remember those? SASE stands for self-addressed stamped envelope.

Handwriting allows me to slow down. I guess it also brings down my blood pressure. It calms me. I'm able to reflect, rue, remember, regret, rejoice on paper. Not unlike keeping a journal only this time there is someone at the other end of the conversation. A friend asked me to send her a private message via her Facebook, which is faster, because she's "poor in snail mail." I assured her that sending mail by snail or donkey delights me so much so she needn't worry if my message is delayed by a week, 10 days or a month. She lives over in Western Australia and comes home twice a year at the most.

Here's the last year's mail, the last hand-delivered by the sister concerned.

Handmade's the best. This one's the handiwork of three-year-old Sophia, daughter of Liwa Araos and Archie Espanola. Made of dried leaves and shiny stickers. I like Liwa's penmanship--it indicates her lightness of being and overall cheerfulness.

Cousin Tess Lolarga Romero in Chicago is religious about her cards. They arrive as early as November. Perhaps she knows my husband is a stamp collector so she sticks assorted stamps on the envelop.

Beth Quirino Lahoz, president of the Technological Institute of the Philippines, unfailingly sends a yearly card. Sometimes, when I respond in kind, she emails quickly back upon receiving my card: "Despite the distance (not seeing each other), the connection thrives because you have also worked at it with your gracious letters."

Coming home from Baguio via Subic on New Year's Day, I found this on my desk--a card from my sister Gigi and inside were crisp 20-peso bills. She and our adopted sister Ruth Terania know my prepaid phone's limits and how I direly need the gadget for text blasts when supporting assorted causes. Thanks, baby sisters.
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