The Missing Christmas Cards

Most things in our home “have a place” but occasionally it will take me awhile to notice something is missing.

Like recently after reading that a favorite quote of Mr. Rogers is from The Little Prince — “L’essentiel est invisible pour les yeux” — (What’s essential is invisible to the eye), I remembered how much I love that book and thought I should read it to my children, ages 10 and 7.

But it was not located on my shelf, in alphabetical order as it should have been. No need to panic; I have books stored all over the house and sometimes by genre or aesthetic on a particular shelf. I quickly located my copy of The Little Prince, worn from having read it so many times.

Recently though, the Christmas Cards were another story.

Every year since my husband and I were married, going back to 2006, I have sent out Christmas Cards. When the season is over, I take the card, punch in two holes, and add them to rings to create a “flip book” of our family Christmas Cards. They are stored in a black-and-white wooden box in the basement, which is also where the kids sleep.

I went to retrieve the cards, thinking I might like to look through them. The family photos have had a variety of photographers and locations over the years, and I thought I might like to reminisce over prior years.

I opened the box and there were no cards.

I asked the kids if they had taken the cards out to look at them, and forgotten to return them to their place. Both shook their heads no.

It was entirely possible that they had looked at the cards months ago and just not returned them, since I rarely pull them out myself. I demanded that the kids scour their rooms looking for the cards, including looking under the bed (which opened and entire new can of worms in what was found). No cards.

I looked under the nearby furniture — couch, dresser, and bookshelf. I looked in a cabinet where we store other photo albums, wondering if they had been mistakenly put in the wrong spot. No cards.

Feeling slightly panicked, I emphasized to the kids that we had to find the cards. That I would have no possible way of reproducing the physical cards from so many years ago, and so if we didn’t locate them, they would be gone. The kids both knitted their brows together, thinking hard, and continued their search.

We have play dates and other kids visit and tear apart our basement frequently. I briefly wondered if some visiting child could have taken the cards, but what an odd thing to take. Or simply moved them to a completely random spot.

I began to open every drawer and claw through every toy bin in the basement. I pulled out the tub of LEGOS.

And there were the cards, sitting on top of a pile of LEGOS.

I put the cards back in their rightful place. No one has claimed responsibility. I’m trying to find a new home for my precious box that holds my Christmas cards. And, on top of permeating every inch of the house, I have added this to another reason that I hate LEGOS.

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