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December 7: Send a note

A lot of people have a tradition of sending out holiday cards. It's nice to hear from people about what they've been up to during the year, particularly if you don't keep up with them regularly.

But haven't our lives become consumed with telling people what we are doing? Isn't every single social media post basically a tiny version of the Christmas card?

We spend our entire year telling the world what we are up to, so maybe this time, we should do the opposite. 

Send a card (not an email, an actual handwritten object) to a friend to thank them for being there for you during a trying time in the past year. Send a note to someone you haven't talked to in ages, just to let them know that you're thinking about them. Instead of sharing the news of what you have been up to, ask someone else how they are doing, thank them for their friendship, their kindness.

Social media makes us feel neurotic - not to mention depressed - because we compare ourselves to others. The amazing holiday someone went on, the beautiful house your college friends just bought, the addition of yet another child to yet another perfect looking family. 

This only paints one part of the picture. When we converse with a friend in real life, we get the full story, the positive and the negative. A real conversation leads to more than the glossy Christmas card version of an update. 

This is all to say that perhaps we don't need more "I did this" type of correspondence. We need "how are you doing?" correspondence, and we need to mean it.

Tell a friend thank you. Not because they got you a gift, or because they invited you to dinner, but simply because they exist. Because they play a role in your life and you are thankful for them. 


PS: the image above is a design that I have been cutting out and gluing onto pieces of paper to make cards for friends. It's made by folding a piece of paper in half, then cutting half of the outline of the tree. Once it's unfolded, it makes the full tree. Feel free to use it as inspiration for your own card.

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