The Holiday greeting cards are here

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Monday, December 28, 2020.  Well, that was quick. Christmas here and gone. Friday felt like Saturday, Saturday felt like Sunday; what was left for Sunday was a grey day, cold but not really (35 degrees with a RealFeel of 40). The dogs didn’t mind it. The neighborhood was quiet. Occasionally a car passing by. The streets are now bare of the Big Snow we had two weeks ago. Or was it three?

This last week of the year is always quiet in New York. Many who could would take a break, relax a little, look forward to the final National Holiday of the old Year, or whatever else needs attention. This year is not different except this particular week is just like the last forty weeks have been in this house and many many others. Me and the dogs.

I don’t exactly live alone, per se; the canines don’t see it that way. And although my regular/past life in the Big Town has been filled with people of all walks and talks, the 2020 calendar has very often been empty/blank. That is not a complaint but definitely a challenge. As I’m sure it has been for many of us, be they solo or surrounded by family or co-residents.

It hasn’t been empty of things to read, or write; just empty of the humanity. But the holiday has brought a lot of it to my door and my desktop. If you’ve been reading us for awhile, you know that every year at this time we run a page of the holiday cards we get. Many senders continue. Their cards reflect their lives and the changes over time.  In the early days, family gathering portraits were popular, even de rigueur in some circles.

Three of four of my current troupe: Tobey (ex-Bide-a-Wee), Lilttle Willy, and Rosemary (the boss) from the Humane Society. #4, Ray, who came from ARF, needed a break from these three.

Every year brings new friends and with those greetings come the changes in fashion. Less family (grown up and moved away?). Many now send their holiday greetings over the web, often with photo portraits. They are pleasant but they have much less impact on the screen then they do in the hand. Some businesses deserve the acknowledgement for their particular greetings. Others reflect the interests of the sender. This year some even used the seasonal correspondence to say that they were moving. Leaving town.

Frankly, they are all effective, but the most effective for me are the animal subjects and the little ones. There’s one, a grandchild of some friend, still a very little one. You can see the humor in her bright eyes; the sight of her smile loses you and makes you laugh. I like to imagine she’ll take that with her throughout a long life.

This isn’t new but this year made it clearer to me. Christmas is not a religious holiday in terms of its celebration. But it’s a good one for all of us if only for the spirit that can be found here and there. The card sending this year reflected that spirit and some will even reflect your spirit when you look at them. Just folks — and don’t forget doggies and the kitties and the Kittys. Joy to the world.

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