Home and Holidays

How many times have you purchased postcards and returned home with them because you couldn’t find stamps, didn’t have an address, forgot to mail them, or lost them in your luggage? That’s what happened to my friend who sent me this postcard from Amsterdam, which was mailed post-vacation from L.A. in 1992:


And he included a lovely doodle, a mini-masterpiece:


We had plans to get together when we both returned to Kansas City over the holidays:


And we did. We went thrift store shopping and I even remember a few things we bought. I got two vintage men’s plaid wool coats, which I wore for years, and he bought a Christian LP with a creepy ventriloquist and her creepier dummy on the cover.

In 8 days, I’ll be repeating that trek from Texas to Kansas City I made back in 1992. Home for the holidays. Back then, I flew home without a child because she hadn’t been born yet. This time I’ll drive home without a child because she’s now 18 and living in Tokyo.

Time is funny like that.

Back then I didn’t take many gifts home because I earned $2.01 plus tips as a waitress and starving student. Now I won’t take many gifts home because Stop the Madness Already. We all have enough. Watching the kiddos open gifts is almost as thrilling to me as it is to them, but otherwise I go back to catch up with friends and family, get a food fix from my favorite restaurants, and stock up on Waxman‘s candles because they smell like home.

Instead of blowing wads of cash on a plethora of gifts this year, I bought a few things for a few people (mostly the kiddos), and I spent the rest of my budget on making and mailing 122 postcards. Let’s call those my little handmade gifts that allowed me to give a little to a lot more people. I scoured the internet for holiday-themed art and saved a bunch of hi-res images of vintage art, postcards, and photos.

I used a few photos from my childhood Santa encounters, too. santame4 mesanta1 mesanta2 santame3

Those went to relatives, with the exception of one that I sent to an old roommate who is now a designer. I knew she’d appreciate the fabulous plaid pants and beret I wore one year. Dang, I wish I had pants like those now.

My own mailbox has been a bit more enjoyable lately as holiday greetings trickle in. One friend wrote that my postcards inspired her to send out Xmas cards this year. In addition to the holiday cards, I’ve been receiving mail from the Ten Days or Whatever of Kwanzaa. Let me tell you, that was 15 bucks well spent.

I hope your mailboxes have been filled with fun mail more than junk mail, and that your holiday travels give you plenty of chances to collect mailing addresses along the way.