Friday, January 31, 2014

Who Writes Christmas Cards and Letters Anymore?

Today I put my last Christmas card in the post and I'm not feeling the least bit guilty.

I have given up on the December-something deadline because it is just an unnecessary pressure. Although I usually can get them all out 'on time', I don't sweat it if I don't.  We receive Christmas cards throughout January so I know I am not the only one liberating myself.

Christmas cards are a big deal on so many levels to me.

Symbolically, I slow down once a year to focus my thoughts on friends and family, to share news, to give care and concern for what has been unfolding in our lives.  No matter how brief the note, it is a gesture which says "you are someone important and precious to me".  In these hurried times, this maybe means more than ever before.

The special list I put together may include a neighbour I see each day, a friend I spend time with regularly, an acquaintance who has marked my life for life - like an old school pal, and most importantly my family - near and far.

On the lightest level, those cards of bright happy colours serve to decorate, and I hope you feel the same.  So even if I do know all your news and see you all the time, I so cherish your pretty card for what it does to make my home that much more ready for the season with all the red and gold and green.

Starting early December the cards trickle in.  I have seen elaborate ways to display cards over the years and we have tried them too.  The long string stretched across the living room wall for them to sling over. Special wire contraptions to tuck into.  Bookshelf space and end table space where they crowd out pictures and trinkets.

Although I drone on and on about trying to be more 'green', the physical Christmas card is something I am reluctant to give up.

The e-cards are coming to me now though.  As are the electronic newsletters.  Know that I am happy to hear from you, no matter how you send your love and care. But, I don't see an e-card future for me yet. Though never say never, I guess.

Each year I review the list to see who gets added and who gets updated.  It is always tough to say good-bye to sending out a Christmas card.  But when our connection is just a once a year thing as two people with bygone histories, I eventually with great reluctance let go. I do wonder. Did you go 'green'? Did you have a big life event? Has Christmas traditions changed for you? Do you feel sending all those Christmas cards has just become too expensive?

Today is also the day where I organized all the cards I received.  I reread the notes and letters. They were sorted alphabetically.  (I know, I know, I've have the OCD thing down pat.)  I put the list of who was sent and received on top and then they were parcel wrapped in butchers cord.  I keep my Christmas cards. Every single one of them.  I do go back to look at them, but it's rare.  So far they are well contained but when I am old and grey, you'll be calling me The Card Lady, not The Cat Lady.

Each year I ponder the future of the Christmas card.  It seems, fewer and fewer are sending them. With Canada Post's recent announcement of increasing postage from 63 cents to $1 for Canadian mail, I have to figure it will push others to close the chapter on a long held tradition. So far, I am not wavering.

I get my cards on super sale after Christmas.  They are cheery but by no means pricey, so the stamp is the biggest investment.

For now, I can say without hesitation, you are totally worth that one dollar to me.


  1. I love sending and receiving Christmas cards. It didn't really happen this year, even though I made my annual bunch at my friend's Christmas Stamp-a-Stack in November, but that just means I'll have a bunch to go towards next year. I wrote a few I didn't post, maybe I'll send them tomorrow even though its now February :)

    1. Do it. Now that it's February, draw a heart on the back of the card. Double up the greeting. They will be thrilled to hear from you. They will know that they matter.


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