Listen to the Pgh Dreamer’s Pod: https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/meghan-greenwood/episodes/Reflections-from-Your-Holiday-Card-List-e2d3rsn
‘Tis the season. Licking envelopes and adding a stamp to the corner. But wait, I think this person moved. Maybe I should reach out and ask? I haven’t spoken to them in a long time either. I should really catch up. “Hi, we should grab coffee in the new year! What’s your new address? Hope you are well!”
As I look through my list of addresses, I notice a lot of changes. This person moved out of state. I think this couple got married and have a name change. This one had a baby, this one got a new job. Oh…we lost her this year. I guess I can sadly remove her from my list.
Even if you don’t send out physical or ecards during the holiday season, I’m sure you can relate to reflecting on relationships during the year. Connecting with others is what keeps us going as human beings. Social connections can not only make us happier, but they can also physically improve our health. According to the CDC, people with strong social connections have a 50% increased likelihood of survival versus those who do not, as relationships can prevent chronic diseases, improve mental health, and positively affect our well-being.
What I find really compelling are the major changes to your annual holiday card address list. The loss of loved ones can be especially heartbreaking. As we scroll down the list, we strike out the names we can no longer reach. We pause and remember them – good times together or missed opportunities. We make a mental note to boost relationships moving forward as we wipe away the tears.
We also notice new names that have populated the list. New friends. People we are genuinely excited to build deeper connections with. Perhaps we met these folks at work or an activity. Maybe they happened to like the same music or movies, and we bonded over a love of Broadway show tunes. Or maybe they were in our lives for a long time but only recently, we really started to get to know them.
As the holiday card list ebbs and flows with each passing year, know that the people in your lives should be the people that bring you joy and motivate you to get up in the morning. As we mourn losses, we should also establish new, vital relationships. Every day is an opportunity to get to know them.