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Location: Arizona, United States

My name is Colleen and I find dead people.

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03 December, 2007

Advent Calendar December 4: Cards

Here are the questions to be addressed in this edition of the Advent Calendar regarding Christmas Cards:

Did your family send them? Did your family display the ones they received? Do you still send Christmas cards?

Yes, we always sent out Christmas cards. One thing that is very different for my generation (my parents', too, really) is that we are very mobile. Our grandparents and great-grandparents generally stayed close together; the lack of transportation meant people worked close to home, played close to home, and married close to home. Not so anymore.

My paternal grandparents, Joseph and Mary (HODICK) McHUGH moved from Nanticoke, Luzerne County, PA, ( to Niagara Falls NY around 1941 (photo courtesy of
My maternal grandparents moved from Pittston, Luzerne County, PA to Niagara Falls, NY around 1934.

My parents moved us from Niagara Falls, Niagara County, NY to Tempe, Maricopa County, AZ in 1977.
We didn't have any relatives in Arizona, just a hope for a warmer climate with lower taxes (or so I'm told ;) ). While we kept in touch in the beginning, correspondence between us and family back home dwindled with the years. Christmas cards were one way to make sure family and friends knew we still thought of them.

And yes, we did incorporate received cards into our holiday decorations. They were hung on a wall, each one individually, as opposed to in a pocket of a holiday wall hanging.

I still send out cards to friends and family in Niagara Falls, even though it's been 30 years this year since we left. I still hang up received cards on a wall, each one individually, as opposed to in a pocket of a holiday wall hanging.

This year, I sent cards to people who may not even know I exist, or haven't seen or heard from me in 40 years. These people I sent them to are cousins of my mother's who will either wonder who that card is from and toss it or wonder what spurred me to send them a card now, after all these years.


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