The Card - 44 Years
December 1973 - December 2016

Back when I was a teenager in 1973, many of us would wear a tie to church.  Dave, a friend of mine, often did not.  "I'm going to get a tie for you for Christmas!", I would often tell him, jokingly.  When Christmas rolled around that year, I sent Dave a card telling him that I really was going to buy him a tie for Christmas, but as I was saving to buy a sleeping bag so I could go to camp, I couldn't afford to buy him a tie.  That was Christmas of '73.

One year later at Christmas time, Dave handed me a Christmas card.  When I opened it, I knew I'd seen the card before.  It was the same card I had given Dave the year before, only he'd crossed out my words and written, "Seeing as how I'm saving to buy myself a new tie, I couldn't afford a new card!"

The next year I sent the same card to Dave - with some excuse/reason as to why I could not afford to buy a new card.  And the year following I got the same card back again.  And on it went for the next few years.  Each Christmas the card would arrive, looking just a bit older and a bit more tattered.

Each year the card would bear yet another reason why a new card could not be afforded.  "I'm saving for a car...", "I'm saving for college....", "I just got engaged...", "I just got divorced...", "My wife and I just had a baby...".  On and on it went each year, the writing getting just a little bit smaller and the reasons just a little bit shorter.

As the years passed, one after another, times and lives changed - as did the reasons for not being able to afford a new card....."I'm saving for reading glasses...", "I'm saving for college for the kids....". 


Christmas of 2016 the card made its 44th journey through the postal system!

The Friends - Dave Westerman and Bill Griswold The Card (click to open)
Christmas Card 2012