They’re arriving. Cards and envelopes with newsletters and photos and stories of work and travel and details about what life brought and even some telling about what life took away during this year that’s ending soon.

I especially like the ones I receive from people with whom I don’t ex-change emails all year. Nor even phone calls. People who don’t use Facebook. This is often our one communication and it’s become increasingly im-portant. I don’t want to lose track of people even (especially) when we’re not really in touch (much.)

Stories are what I love. I even enjoy newsletters with stories about people I don’t know. And pictures – the more, the merrier.

One surprise newsletter is written by the husband of my first roommate. I had the honor of being part of their wedding ceremony, back when we were barely out of our teens. Seeing their year told in words chosen by him reveals a side of him I hadn’t known before.

An envelope I wait for each year comes from a couple whose children I used to babysit. Now they’re great grandparents and in close touch with every member of their growing family. They share details about college classes and hopes and dreams and plans and romances of each of their multiple grandchildren, and I’m happy to make the acquaintance, in this way, of people I may never see.

Last season there was less mail and I worried about some who always wrote, then stopped. This year, they’ve begun arriving again and there are more of them. Maybe this tradition matters even more during a time when so many people have had to cut back on so many other things.

Keep them coming. Your newsletters will always receive a welcome here.