Am I the black sheep?

I send cards.  Since having kids, it has become a slightly costly affair.  I get these special spiffy cards printed up, which will include pictures of my kids and my family’s blog address and it does make me happy to do it.  I love having these two little people in my life who are so important to me that I want everyone else to see pictures of them at least once a year. 

Yes, it’s my choice that it’s so costly.  I get the extra-spiffy bona fide greeting cards printed, not the single layer postcard-esque cards.  I may have to find a more frugal solution next year, since this year I opted into stay-at-home-mom-hood, and our disposable income just got amputated by that choice.  But really, the cost part of it is but a small piece in the inequity.

There are about a half dozen glaring non-card-returners on my Christmas card list.  And I’m not quite sure what to do. 

These are all relatives of my mom, who passed away about ten years ago.  These are aunts/uncles, stepsiblings, and first cousins of my mom, who I’d spent a good amount of time with growing up and are people I think of fondly.  I don’t feel like I have a ton of stuff in common with most of them, but I like and love them a lot.  And every year since the year after she died and I sent out my own cards, they have gotten cards from me.  The first couple years I’m sure I got cards in return.  Now… nada.  I know for sure I haven’t gotten cards from them in at least four years.  Normally I could write this off to “well, maybe they don’t send cards” but I make the rounds at Christmastime and with the exception of one, I have seen that these people do, in fact, send cards.  Cute cards with heartfelt messages inside, cards with pictures of their kids. 

And they choose, despite getting cards from me, year after year, to not send me a card.  Either that or my mailman is extraordinarily incompetent.

I mentioned my mom passed away a number of years ago.  I’ve talked to my younger brother, and we both feel like lots of my mom’s family just isn’t sure how to interact with us comfortably since then… and thusly might simply choose the easy way out by not interacting with us at all.  Fair enough… not nice, but whatever.

But my dad got cards from some of the offending parties.  And my grandma – my mom’s mom – will almost certainly get cards from nearly all of them (with the exception of my uncle, who was my mom’s stepbrother from when my maternal grandfather remarried and acquired for my mother two stepbrothers.  Really, is there any person in the world that sends a Christmas card to their stepfather’s previous wife?).

So maybe that leaves me the black sheep, and damned if I can figure out why.  It makes me feel vulnerable and foolish and silly to continue to send cards to these people, when by all outward indications these people don’t care if they get them or not.  Yet… I will probably continue to send them.  Try as they might, I am still quite fond of these people, and even if my mom’s death inserted a permanent and immutable rift in our relationship, I will just hope that these folks will continue to enjoy getting a small indication that my life had turned out well, I have a couple beautiful kids, and that I hope they have a nice holiday.


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