Packing away old friends

It’s the holiday sting still left over from Christmas.

It’s not about a gift I was expecting that didn’t show up.

This one drills down to something much more granular.

My Christmas card list.

I happen to enjoy holiday cards.

I love receiving them and sending them.

I’ve morphed over the years from old fashioned cards to using an e-card service.

Which leads me to the Address Book. Once I’ve picked the photos and written the “Holiday Greetings” letter, I review the list of recipients.

It’s not like the old days when I had to justify the postage and printing expense for each card. Still, it’s important to see who I am reaching out to before I hit the giant “Send” button.

This is where I came upon the name of someone who was once a very close friend.

Key word being “was.”

When did we go from “very close friend” to past tense?

The line is so fuzzy. There was never a fight or falling out.

My version would be that she slowly pulled away until it got to a point where I felt like I was chasing her for us to get together, to even still be connected.

Eventually, I decided to stop chasing.

It must’ve been the right choice because she’s never reached back to stay connected.

And so here we are.

I kept her on the list last year, but I can see she never opened it.

Did it go to her spam folder? Did she intentionally not open it because she has no interest in me or my family?

I have no idea.

I just know, sitting there looking at that spreadsheet of email addresses, I had a choice to make.

Did I include her as one of the 100 people it was worth sending a card to?

The answer was a single word I didn’t want to choose.


A few weeks later, I’m still not sure how we got from being so close to so far.

Did I say something to offend her?

Did she simply grow in a different direction wanting a new slate of friends?

I’m curious about the answers, but not so much that I want to pick up the phone.

That feels like the old chase I knew was right to give up.

And so, I’m accepting the uncomfortable feeling of this post-holiday malaise.

Just as it’s time to put away decorations, it’s time to put away this friendship.

Have you had to make this choice, too, Dear Reader?

To think back on the friendship that was once so bright and shiny, even the focus of our love and admiration.

Like holiday decorations, I’m finding some relationships have a season.

Christmas belongs in December. In July, not so much.

This friendship was a gift during its time. Now, I need to tuck it into the part of my mind that holds cherished memories.

The packing stings, and it’s where I know the good times will remain safe.

Daryn Kagan is the author of the book “Hope Possible: A Network News Anchor’s Thoughts On Losing Her Job, Finding Love, A New Career, And My Dog, Always My Dog” and Executive Director of the Just One More Foundation. Email her at

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