Tag Archives: tradition

For me? It’s a definite no.

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I recently commented on a blog friend’s post about my dislike of the ever popular photo Christmas card. After voicing my opinion, I was asked “Are you… Scrooge?” To which I answer most emphatically… no! 

But for me… the joy of the annual Christmas card exchange is knowing that someone far away, someone I may not have seen for 15 years, someone I don’t communicate with on a regular basis, took the time to sit down and think of me. To actually pick up a pen and jot down a message of holiday cheer…. in good old fashioned ink. In the virtual, digital, and (don’t get me wrong I love my tech) impersonal world in which we live? That still means something.

So when I get cards like this –

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They leave me cold. Want to include a family photo in your card? Great, I’d love to see you and your hoard of grandchildren. But not like this –

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Where I have absolutely no idea who’s who or from which loins they sprung.

Nope. You have to do more than format some photos online and stick it in an envelope with no handwritten signature or bon mots for me to feel that merry tingle.

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Old fashioned? Probably. But then I still send handwritten thank you notes like my momma taught me.

And if I’m the only one who feels this way? So be it. You do you, I’ll do me. My cards and envelopes always have been… and always will be… hand written. And if you’re lucky enough to make the cut on my ever dwindling Christmas card list (deadbeats who haven’t reciprocated in 5 years are history) you won’t get a typewritten letter detailing the mind numbing minutia of my life in the past year. (Do not get me started on those! I neither need, nor want to know the results of your step son’s colonoscopy or how great aunt Edna is dealing with those pesky cysts.) But you will get a few words from someone who thought enough of you to take the time to put pen to paper.

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*Disclaimer – the post to which I refer is this one by Swinged Cat.

And while my dislike of photo cards stands, I’d like to give him a shout out for at least going the extra mile and doing something humorous.

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When in doubt, wear red.

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I just realized I haven’t posted a photo of the big barn since the staining and painting were completed.

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Needless to say I’m very pleased.

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The nice thing is, the husband was pleased as well.

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I know this because I overheard him talking to the painter saying he wasn’t sure he would like a red barn and that he’d fought his wife over it… boy did he!… but in the end, even he had to admit it looked great.

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Technically it’s not totally done, as the crew is going to box in the eaves on the overhang. But in Maine, you have to paint until the weather turns, so they’ll be back another day to finish that.

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My porch furniture cushions also need to be recovered in a fabric that doesn’t clash.

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But baby barn approves.

And we have a red and white barn!

Yay.

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Yorktown National Cemetery

 

The next stop on the driving tour was a solemn one.

 

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Where I found it a sad statement on today’s society that this sign even needed to be posted.

 

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Silence and respect is the very least we can give them.

 

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I’ve always found cemeteries to be beautiful places.

 

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And never fail to become emotional…. constantly close to tears.

 

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It doesn’t matter that none of my people were here…..

 

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They’re someone’s people.

 

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Someone’s son, husband or father.

 

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And they made the ultimate sacrifice for a country we all share.

 

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Cemeteries are a perfect place for personal reflection.

 

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And I made sure to give my veteran husband some time alone with memories of his war… and those he lost.

 

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I have to admit I was ignorant of the tradition of coin laying. You don’t see this up our way, but almost every grave had coins on it in Yorktown.

 

According to legend, the coin left belongs on the gravestones of U.S. military veterans. Visitors who wish to show their respect leave coins on the headstones in different amounts. It shows their loved ones of the soldiers family that someone has come to visit the grave.

Leaving a penny means you visited and want to thank the veteran for their service. A nickel means you trained at boot camp with the deceased, while a dime suggests you served with him or her. Finally, a quarter signifies you were with the soldier when they passed away.

The origin of the tradition, like the meaning behind it, is still up for debate. But many people believe it started in America during the Vietnam War. America was having a crisis of conscience. Any discussion of the war usually devolved into a more significant discussion about politics. Leaving a coin was a way to say you appreciate the soldier’s service while avoiding an inevitable uncomfortable conversation.

 

I really wish I’d known this before our visit.

I would have broken my piggy bank and put a penny on each and every one.