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Cherie Burbach

Two Friends Create Unique Record of Their Friendship With Christmas Card Exchange

By December 29, 2012

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I love hearing about friends who do something fun and unique, and without realizing end up creating a new tradition. That's what happened to Stewart Owens and Joe Konrad, who have exchanged the same card since 1943.

The tradition started as an accident, with one sending the card back to the other with an added note on it. But it continued, with each adding something on the card and then sending it back again. The tradition started when the guys were roommates at Middle George College to take an aeronautics course.

The thing I love about this is that each friend adds a line about their life. In looking back at the card, it reads like a personal history of their friendship, with Konrad writing things like:

"This time there's two, Bettie and Joe." 1948.

"Three this year, Bettie, Joe and Marianne." 1950.

"We're moving to Conn. this time. Joe, Bettie, Marianne, Mickey, Marc and Meg." 1960.

"Only 1 M left and he's in college. Joe, Bettie and Matt." 1984.

and Owens writing things like:

"Stew and Dorothy." 1949.

"Stew, Dorothy, Debbie and David." 1961.

"Grandparents for the first time this year." 1981.

Isn't this the loveliest tradition? What a fun way to keep in touch with a friend. It becomes more than just the item involved, it becomes about expecting that cherished card in the mail from your friend, seeing their input, continuing on a tradition that makes your friendship feel more beloved and solid with each passing year.

How can we incorporate this idea into our own friendships? While you can't always manufacture a tradition out of thin air, you can look for opportunities that grow organically, like this one did. (Read more about their story.)

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