A year-end look back at our own 2021 year

Over the past few years, it has seemed that people have been mailing fewer and fewer holiday cards. Some send greetings on Facebook (now Meta) and others use email or texts.

While any of these methods are welcome, I have yet to give up mailing holiday newsletters. And this year was no exception.

While my once handwritten note in each card turned into a handwritten newsletter, then this year into a typed newsletter, copied at the local printer, I stuffed the letter into an envelope with a card created using family photos.

Every year, I share our year’s best highlights with college and childhood friends, former co-workers and extended family who send us their holiday greetings. Oftentimes, I’m addressing envelopes as the greetings arrive in our mailbox. Originally, I was using professional photos taken in Christmas attire, but this year and last year I decided to use our own candid photos from the year.

Our holiday newsletter always revolves around my now 15-year-old daughter and all of her activities. I call it a holiday newsletter rather than a Christmas newsletter because last year I sent it a day or so before Christmas, so some folks received the letter before Christmas and some afterward.

But I don’t get stressed about it because I receive cards and newsletters throughout the holidays. In fact, this year, it seemed that we’ve received more cards than the past couple of years. And that’s been terrific, hearing from so many folks during the holidays.

While there are friends who we keep in touch with throughout the year, I don’t necessarily send them holiday newsletters because they already know what’s going on in our lives, and we theirs.

Despite the pandemic, we, ourselves, had a busy 2021, with daughter, Addie, experiencing many firsts. It was her first time to visit Florida and the Florida beaches, first time to visit Walt Disney World parks, and first time to fly in a commercial airplane.

She also took driver’s ed and got her driver’s permit this year.

My dad celebrated his 95th birthday in June, and my mom celebrated her 90th birthday in November.

At the Hamilton County 4-H Fair, Addie won Champion in the Youth Division for her pumpkin pie ice cream in the Homemade Ice Cream Contest, and she emceed the 4-H Fair’s Farmer Olympics.

She played the host for The Belfry Theatre’s youth talent show on the Courthouse Square, sang the National Anthem during the StringTime on the Square music series and one Saturday got to be the opening and intermission act for one of the bands. She spent her fourth year as a Conner Prairie youth volunteer, in 1836 costume and competing with youth volunteer spinners in the Indiana State Fair’s Sheep to Shawl contest, her team winning reserve champion for a handmade scarf the team made by carding, spinning, plying and weaving wool in a four-hour competition.

This fall, school was more fun with involvement in Noblesville High School’s New Dimension show choir, performing in her school’s production of Disney’s “High School Musical” and an opportunity to sing a vocal solo, the Carpenters’ “Merry Christmas Darling” in her school’s all-choir holiday concert. 

Throughout my year, as a columnist, I’ve kept readers up-to-date on many of these personal happenings in our lives, while also writing about people, places and things in and around Noblesville, as well as my opinion every now and again on things happening in our great city.

As we wind down our last couple of days in 2021, I thank our faithful readers of The Times. And I wish everyone a Happy and prosperous New Year!

-Contact Betsy Reason at