Thursday, February 26, 2015

Recycling Love

As I have been going through the boxes of cards and letters saved for me from the time I was born, to the ones I have kept throughout my life, it has felt somewhat like an archeological excavation. Previously, it seemed sac religious to dispose of these items. Now, not so much!

But what to do with forty years of valentines, anniversaries, birthdays, Christmases and the miscellaneous I love you’s shared with my dearest friend, my husband? I began by sorting the best of the best out, sorted through those again, then divided them up by event. I saved maybe a dozen of each event for each of us. This past Valentine's Day, we “shopped” our old cards and recycled our love. This is the ultimate in green giving, the best of recycling. We are saving trees, saving gas and probably saving in ways we don't even know about. Weird? Maybe, but there again I'm thinking, not so much.

Don't get me wrong, I enjoy receiving cards and letters sent to me, and I will continue to send them to others. But, I'll use more of the cards I receive for bookmarks in cookbooks, books I am reading, and to jot down notes. I just won't be keeping them forever, and you don't have to either.

How about recycling all cards? My mother-in-law once sent the Christmas cards she received back to the senders the following year. It had something to do with using construction paper, covering areas where the sender had written anything, and wrapping the construction paper around the card to form an envelope. She only heard from one person who noticed, and she sends out and receives an extraordinary number of cards. Sounds like a lot of trouble to me, but you could send a delightful card back and forth to the same person, as in, Happy Birthday, and backatcha, again and again. Gives a whole new meaning to re-gifting.

Be creative, be green, simplify, or whatever you want to call it, but STOP the madness of saving all of these cards! I am now wondering what my friend Phyllis is going to do with the monthly anniversary cards she and her husband share each month. Yes, each month; yes, she saves them, and this has been going on for more than twenty years! Sweet remembrances, but I am having a difficult time picturing twelve times the anniversary cards. And I thought it looked like every Hallmark shops worst nightmare when I sorted through my cards and had them covering my entire family room.

Saving special memories is something we all do in one way or another. Getting rid of the collection of memories in our attics and under our beds is another thing. Be green, follow my lead and move on. Enjoy the cards, but I am here to tell you, there are no Hallmark SWAT teams! Well, if there are, they didn't burst into my house. So will I regret what I have disposed of, I’m thinking, not so much! Will my family miss going through my detritus? Again, not so much. And to all those people who think there may be money left in some of those cards, not so much!
3D recycle symbol courtesy of Chris Potter