While rummaging through some boxes in the basement, I came across copies of a holiday newsletter we created in 1998. It was a collaborative effort: My better half is the art director, and she completed the design and layout, including our images manipulated through PhotoShop. I wrote the copy.
We touched upon interesting activities, trips, events and recollections from each month. It announced the new public relations job I started, the one I lost this September Not sure if we published future “year-in-review” communications to stuff into Christmas cards. Possibly an abbreviated version for a year or two. More than likely, it took up too much time at a busy time of the year.
Of course, in 1998 interactive online communication was in its relative infancy. The blogosphere might have been in existence, but I trust only true technology students — okay, the geeks — published blogs. The term “blog” was not a common part of our daily lives. A “blogger?” What’s that? After all, who would read these online chronicles and random thoughts.
The little newsletter we produced was something tangible, printed on laser paper. But we trust most recipients discarded the piece, along with holiday cards and wrapping paper, shortly after receiving it. It went to a few dozen family members and friends. Some recipients commented on the content and applauded us for our creativity, for remembering what brought meaning and enjoyment to our lives. The trips and visits, the baseball games and concerts — these events that shaped our lives are surely forgotten by those on our holiday card list.
As I write this, there are thousands of other bloggers (a term I still can’t come to terms with; subject for a future post) posting communications on important stuff happening in the world, or what took place in their immediate world. Yet, unlike our holiday newsletter, those messages will live on for a long, long time and can be absorbed by anyone with a computer, access to the Internet and willingness to search and read comments from a stranger.
The final paragraph of that 1998 newsletter from a Chicago couple had these thoughts. They are appropriate today, Thanksgiving Day:
“Just one more thought. A special thanks to those who gave. To those who offered a helping hand when there was work to do. To those who listened when we had to talk about what caused trouble that day. To those who shared when were we lacking. To those who made us laugh when we were about to cry. Especially to those who reached within to offer something of themselves.”