Saying good-bye is not always a bad thing. Especially when it only invites clutter and chaos. In 1985 I was on my mission. It was my second Christmas in the mission field and my family decided to send me a tape and king size card with greetings from various friends and neighbors from my home ward.
A 22X25 poster paper was purchased and folded in half. My family decorated the front with pictures which represented my personality – a picture of Baloo and Mowgli from Jungle Book (I love Disney’s animated version of that show) Ziggy, a picture of ceramic nativity set, trees and flower in bloom, dance shoes, real mountains (Utah mountains, not the hills of Virginia where I served) the Salt Lake Temple, dolls, golden plates, scripture paintings , and musical icons.
In addition to all the magazine cut-outs were two actual photographs. One was of me with my missionary name tag and the other was a recent family gathering that I would guess Corey had taken (as he was not in it) which included my dad’s mother, brother, sister and their families – or parts of them anyway (my uncle’s oldest two are also missing from the photo)
My 11X14 card contained signatures from so many – it was an honor that my family had gone around with the tape recorder to so many of my ward family. I think they must have gotten all of them with one devise or the other. Some would sign my card from self and spouse – and then I would find spouses signature elsewhere on the card. Some would just sign names without a greeting. Most were just typical Christmas greetings – but there were some that added personal comments. Surprisingly, I still remember everybody who had signed the card.
Corey had placed on the back: “When you care enough to send something better than a Hallmark” and “the Best Homemade Card Company around” – it still makes me smile – and really, it doesn’t take up that much room. But it’s been bent, torn in places, and some of the pictures have faded. I don’t really NEED it. Time to say good-bye.
I don’t know where the tape is. I have several shoe boxes full of cassette tapes. Most I will end up throwing away – or use them for recording things I would like right now. I think most tapes contain something that I want – but certainly not all of it.
I remember a couple of people singing Christmas songs on the tape that my family had sent along with the enormous card. One visitor said that she wasn’t aware that I was even on a mission. It was nice to hear so many voices that had been familiar to me. My family obviously put a lot of thought into my gift and thus I cherished it. Still do – just not in a tangible way.