I'm down to the last ten people on my Christmas card list. For some people, there's a system to doing cards. Some people save the best for last, and I've gotten touching cards from some friends about how I was their last card because they wanted to save me for the end. That's sweet. I have no such system.
A couple are family, and I usually save them till the end because they won't mind as much if they don't get a card. They know I love them, and don't need a card and a cheap sentiment (not so cheap this year with the amount I've spent at Hallmark) to validate our relationship. A few are really good friends, and I just haven't found the right words yet this year. And the last few are the tough ones.
The last few are people that I haven't been in touch with much at all. They're folks that have more or less evaporated from my existence, and it's hard to find the words to say, when more and more they're letters on a page rather than people I care for.
And it's a battle every year to decide whether I should just fill out the cards and be done with it, or whether it's time to take them off the list. And that's a hard call, because it's a lot to say that a person means so little to you that you can't spend the time to write even the most trite of sentiments on a piece of paper.
So it's going to be a tough week churning out the rest of the cards, and there's some value in this kind of catharsis, because in the end, Christmas cards to me are more than a chore. And I hate to think that for some of these cards, it's become just that.