bah but no humbug

It's a busy, guilty time of year.  In addition to procrastinating about your writing, or whatever you have to do, you have to start thinking about all the people you must greet seasonally.  I think we send season's greetings for several reasons.  One, you have to assure everyone that you are still here, and hope they are the same.  The older  you get, the more necessary this is.  Gradually over the years your recipient list shrinks and you have to keep it up to date.  Two, you must write people you've been meaning to get in touch with for at least a year and you make wild promises like "next year, for sure". There is a sub-category in this item, that being the person or persons you met on a trip/vacation in the past year with whom you expressed undying friendship and another promise to keep in touch.  (I'll have to go into a tangential description of what happens in these cases at another time.) Three, it's a good time to sum up your achievements, if any,  and those of your children, if any, every one of them a genius, if any.  Four, if you do that, you can expunge your guilt for another year, especially if you get in first. SOW, that's when I start wondering why other people don't feel guilty about me, why they don't try to keep in touch with me, why they don't make the first move.  Maybe they don't feel as guilty as I do but they should feel guiltier, shouldn't they?  Oh dear.  The fact is that greeting card lists are fraught with emotion, and you can never start dealing with therm, too soon. (That's why I write generic letters now, every month or so.)  Also, there's Canada Post to worry about. Last year, for the first time in several years, I didn't go to Boston for Christmas to spend it with my daughter and her family.  I send them a large (for me, pretty large) amount of money.  I sent it in US dollars in a money order, Express Post, early , before the Christmas rush. It didn't get there.  I was assured it would, not to worry.  After a few weeks I cashed in the money order and put it back in the bank, costing me the US exchange and a service fee, but the substantial amount returned to me. In the meantime, I kept on tracking, nagging, in fact, trying to find out what had happened and where that Express Post was.  Just before Easter, I had an acknowledgement that the letter was, indeed, lost, and I was given reimbursement for the cost of the postage - about $15.  So I went to Boston for Easter and delivered the money in person. Good excuse for a trip?