When I open an envelope this time of year I find myself hoping for more than just “greetings” from the people I really care about. I want to hear what’s really happening with them. I want to connect myself, in return, with more than a hasty signature at the bottom of a card. The waste of exchanging holiday cards bothers me, but it is the one time of year that we reach out to a lot of people who aren’t a regular part of our lives, and that’s a good thing.

This year, as my live changes in the course of starting a new publishing business, I have a yen for paper and pen and the time to remember just why I’m staying in touch . . . time to tell certain special people that I care, and catch them up a little on what’s really going on in my life.

Here’s my plan for the hectic holidays of 2004: I’m going to write real letters to a dozen distant friends, old-fashioned letters with an enclosure or two, an article they might enjoy, or a copy of an old photo. Then I’m going to email another dozen people I’ve lost touch with. This is going to be my season of renewing connections, and for that I don’t need a box of greeting cards.

(By the way, aren’t e-greeting cards the worst idea ever?)

karen christensen's corona typewriter on t s eliot's desk

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