Rural Missouri - December 2019 - 23

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"I think the fun part is all the people you get to
talk to and see, and see where they come from,"
Mary says. "And of course, it's fun too when my kids
call from Kansas City to say, 'we saw you on TV!' "
Volunteers use a well-worn map posted by the
counter to keep track of where the cards originate.
So many come from the area around Noel that the
tri-state intersection of Missouri, Oklahoma and
Arkansas is no longer legible. Groups from Kansas
City and Grove, Oklahoma make a special trip for
the occasion or tie it in with a weekend vacation.
Others from the nearby Arkansas towns of Bella
Vista and Rogers bring their cards in by the load,
some numbering 500 at a time and some making
more than one trip. Mary notes that members of
a Tulsa, Oklahoma car club caravans up to Noel,
sometimes in their classic rides, for the day to
stamp their own cards before heading back.
And yet a fair number of pins are stuck in the
map's borders, indicating what direction they
traveled to Noel from overseas. Predictably, a big
international pen pal is France - where "Noël" is
synonymous with the Christmas season. George,
Mary and Lynn can recount cards that traveled
from England, Germany, Sweden, Finland, Norway
and even a few sent from a pair of Christmas card
collecting siblings in China.
"Christmas Island, Nova Scotia does stamping
up there and they send cards," Dot adds. "But we're
the only Noel in the U.S."
That distinction hasn't lost its charm, as every
year the Yuletide tradition puts Noel in the national
news. However, with the widespread use of email,
social media and online bill pay, postal employees
also have noticed a general downward trend in
letter mail, which has also affected the number of
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They keep busy with a multitude of packages and
presents that arrive on a daily basis, but over the
last three or four years Lynn says she's seen the
number of cards sent for special stamping drop
from 60,000 to around half that amount.
"That's still a lot of Christmas cards to come
through here, but that's a big drop," she says.
If the lower mail count is a sign that the holiday
spirit is dying, then it's going to die hard, if Lynn
has anything to say about it. Aside from the
decorating and holiday cheer that the volunteers
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box customers, for second and third graders at Noel
Elementary School.
"It's nostalgic, it's fun and it's different," Lynn
says. "It's just a little thing we try to do to keep
everybody in the holiday spirit."
Postal employees, volunteers and residents
agree there's something more to the tradition than
simply the novelty of receiving a postcard or letter
in December that happened to be stamped in a town
called "Noel." The cards are a tangible sign not only
that someone was thoughtful enough to think of
someone else during a busy time of year, but that they
went the extra mile to put the special postmarks on
it and send their love and appreciation. The feelings
of friendship and community that have grown
around a few simple stamps here in Noel speak to
the true spirit of the season, and will hopefully keep
the holiday tradition going for years to come.
"We've been known as the Christmas City for so
many years, I don't want it to die out," Dot says.
"I've seen the enjoyment of people receiving it - I've
been one of those people - my friends who have
seen it remark on it every year, and it's just a joy
that comes out at Christmastime. We're just trying
to keep it going."

How to send your
Christmas cards toNoel

:

1. Address and stamp each of your
555+,
2. Package them together in a box or
large envelope

:

, ,

3. Mail them to Post Office 
(% MO 65854

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027RYROXQWHHUWRKHOSVWDPSFDUGVFDOO'RW
Harner at 417-475-4053 or email dotharnero@gmail.
com.
()')1&)6`696%01-77396-'334

23



Rural Missouri - December 2019

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Rural Missouri - December 2019

Contents
Rural Missouri - December 2019 - Intro
Rural Missouri - December 2019 - Cover1
Rural Missouri - December 2019 - Cover2
Rural Missouri - December 2019 - Contents
Rural Missouri - December 2019 - 4
Rural Missouri - December 2019 - 5
Rural Missouri - December 2019 - 6
Rural Missouri - December 2019 - 7
Rural Missouri - December 2019 - 8
Rural Missouri - December 2019 - 9
Rural Missouri - December 2019 - 10
Rural Missouri - December 2019 - 11
Rural Missouri - December 2019 - 12
Rural Missouri - December 2019 - 13
Rural Missouri - December 2019 - 14
Rural Missouri - December 2019 - 15
Rural Missouri - December 2019 - 16
Rural Missouri - December 2019 - 17
Rural Missouri - December 2019 - 18
Rural Missouri - December 2019 - 19
Rural Missouri - December 2019 - 20
Rural Missouri - December 2019 - 21
Rural Missouri - December 2019 - 22
Rural Missouri - December 2019 - 23
Rural Missouri - December 2019 - 24
Rural Missouri - December 2019 - 25
Rural Missouri - December 2019 - 26
Rural Missouri - December 2019 - 27
Rural Missouri - December 2019 - 28
Rural Missouri - December 2019 - 29
Rural Missouri - December 2019 - 30
Rural Missouri - December 2019 - 31
Rural Missouri - December 2019 - 32
Rural Missouri - December 2019 - 33
Rural Missouri - December 2019 - 34
Rural Missouri - December 2019 - 35
Rural Missouri - December 2019 - 36
Rural Missouri - December 2019 - 37
Rural Missouri - December 2019 - 38
Rural Missouri - December 2019 - Cover3
Rural Missouri - December 2019 - Cover4
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/202104
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/202103
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/202102
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/202101
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/202012
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/202011
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/202010
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/202009
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/202008
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/202007
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/202006
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/202005
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/202004
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/202003
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/202002
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/202001
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201912
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201911
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201910
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201909
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201908
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201907
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201906
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201905
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201904
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201903
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201902
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201901
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201812
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201811
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201810
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201809
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201808
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201807
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201806
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201805
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201804
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201803
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201802
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201801
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201712
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201711
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201710
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201709
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201708
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201707
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201706
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201705
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201704
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201703
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201702
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201701
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201612
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201611
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201610
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201609
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201608
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201607
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201606
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201605
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201604
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201603
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201602
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201601
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201512
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201511
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201510
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201509
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201508
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201507
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201506
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201505
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201504
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201503
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201502
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201501
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201412
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201411
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201410
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201409
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201408
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201407
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201406
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201405
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201404
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201403
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201402
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201401
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201312
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201311
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201310
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201309
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201308
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201307
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201306
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201305
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201304
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201303
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201302
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201301
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201212
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201211
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201210
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201209
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201208
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201207
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201206
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201205
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201204
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201203
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201202
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201201
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201112
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201111
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201110
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201109
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201108
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201107
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201106
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201105
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201104
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/videotest
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201103
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201102
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201101
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201012
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201011
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201010
https://www.nxtbookmedia.com