Today I received a Christmas card in the mail. Before I could even read the words, emotion choked me, and I became overwhelmed with tenderness as I contemplated the great love someone must have for me to be so efficient with their card-sending. However, on closer examination I discovered that the hallmark card was in fact from Hallmark, containing generic well wishes for the holiday season and a 20% off coupon. Although disappointing, the card provoked all manner of reminiscence within me, resulting in the following sequence of memories.
When I was seventeen years old, I had the opportunity to work as a nanny for my aunt and uncle and their seven children (“seven children,” spoken in Julie Andrews Sound of Music voice). Those months defined me more as a person than anything else I’ve ever done (sans falling in love or reading the Boxcar Children). I came to know who I was and who I wanted to be, and I count the time as my first grand adventure.
Anyway, while I was in Idaho I received a welcome amount of correspondence from my loved ones, and as I continue to acclimate to my Pittsburgh life, I have found renewed comfort from re-reading those words, particularly the words from my sweet family. My situation, though technically different, feels similar enough that I can almost hear the voices who spoke them originally as I read…
My sister Rebekah,then 14 years old, wrote the following:
December 20th, 2012
Merry Christmas! I just discovered that I am writing this letter upside-down, so if you want to see the True Beauty of this stationary, you will have to look at it from a different angle. I’m glad you’re excited to get my present; I think you will like it, but if you don’t; don’t tell me, okay?
On December 12th (last week’s Sunday) the Bagleys taught my Sunday school class, so we had a 5-10 minute lesson, and then we talked about family Christmas traditions. :S (squiggly face)
Oh Mary, I am very much looking forward to when you are home again and I can talk to you. I’m sorry if this makes you trunk-y–or can only missionaries be trunky? Oh well. I haven’t put any presents under the Christmas tree yet. I will probably later today–oh! I don’t think we have any tape left! I guess I will just have to wait a little longer. I don’t mind, but I think William will. Speaking of William, he made some really yummy chocolate chip cookies last night. They were probably as good as any I’ve ever made too.
We watched “It’s a Wonderful Life” last night. One of our favorite lines is, “Oh why don’t you stop annoying people.” I think I might already have told you that.
Merry Christmas, Mary, and a Happy New Year to you!
Love, love, love Rebekah Taylor, thine own sister.
Aw. It ain’t Hallmark, but it works for me.