The Cost Of Joy: Forty-Nine Cents and Five Minutes

Taking Small Moments To Express Love And Joy

Image courtesy of Unsplash

I sit at my dining room table on a snowy day in Wisconsin watching the flakes dance their merry way down to the driveway that I will eventually have to shovel if I want to get groceries. With one thousand things on my to-do list, I sit with pen in hand and stacks of holiday cards waiting for the hand-written note and address that I do each year.

I chose cards that fit each family’s religious beliefs or lack thereof. I write Happy Chanukah, Merry Christmas, Happy New Year, and more. There are some with reindeer, some with penguins, some with menorah, and some snowflakes and a wish of a happy future.

Yes, a mail merge for address labels would be faster, pre-printed cards easier to read than my hand-written notes, and a letter more informative than my short statement of good tidings. But that is missing the point. The point is that I am taking the time to this. I am setting aside time from my life and putting forth an effort to make sure that each recipient gets a portion of my life to be wished happy holidays and a fabulous 2017. And I believe that matters.

With email, Facebook, and texts quickly becoming the fast and easy way to say thanks and good wishes, I find that a hand-written note is a rarity, but one that packs a punch. When you get such a note, you notice the address in the flood of junk mail. You enjoy the picture on the front — even if just for a second. You open it up to see your name and a note meant for you. And then, that warm feeling carries through. Maybe for a few minutes, maybe longer. But for a moment, that card brought a spark of joy. And all for a few minutes of my time and a stamp. I can’t think of a better use of my time and forty-nine cents.

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