The New Year is an excellent time to review the status of one's address book. This year, I decided to use my holiday cards as a litmus test for the addresses I had on file. Everyone in the book got a card or postcard. I haven't counted yet, but it's somewhere in the neighborhood of 200. I am expecting to get a number of NIXIEs returned.
A NIXIE is what the Postal Service calls a piece of "undeliverable as addressed" mail. It's even printed on the light yellow labels they slap over the address when they send it back to you. I decided that if I get a NIXIE, then that address in my book gets erased. I make an exception for the addresses of the deceased. Those, I outline in a black ink frame. It's my way of making a small memorial. And yes, sometimes the P.O. will tell you if someone is deceased; they have a special stamp for it and everything.
I have already started erasing. What's more, I have also decided that if I haven't heard from you in over a year and you don't respond to my holiday card by February, I will also erase your spot in the address book. (Mind you, this is my personal address book; this is in NO WAY a call for every member to write to me for fear of losing membership.) It's easy to get back in. Just write me back! You have to send a letter to get a letter. That's the mantra.
That's what I'm doing as part of my New Year's tending of the writing desk. How about you? Any resolutions to write back more, buy better stamps, send less or more mail? Share with us in the comments. We love to hear about other processes of letter writing and clever ideas.