Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Do You Send Christmas Cards?

Do you send Christmas cards? If so, do you ever think about "why" you send them? That's a simple question....but the answer wasn't always quite so simple for me. Now, maybe I'm the only one that has ever had this issue, but I kind of doubt it.

There was a time when I sent about 80 store bought cards every year to friends, family and neighbors. A small handful of people would get an extra handwritten note on cute holiday stationery, but most everyone got just the card with the preprinted message on the inside and then I wrote something like, "All Our Love, The Krolls". Sometimes I would write a little extra, "Happy Holidays". Then I would carefully stuff them in the envelopes, write the address on them, put a return label on them, seal them up, add a holiday stamp and pop them in the mailbox.

Another chore completed! Did I say chore??? Sending cards for the holidays shouldn't feel anything like a chore! Why did it sometimes seem that way? Why was I sending that many cards?

Was it because it's just what I always did? Was it because they sent me a card? Was it because I would feel guilty removing them from my list?
I finally decided that something had to change So,over the years I have whittled my list down to about 40. It isn't that I don't care about those other 40 people...I do. It's just that I never talk to those other 40 people. I never see those other 40 people. I never wrote special notes to those other 40 people, and those other 40 people never wrote special notes to me. Those other 40 people had no idea what is going on in my life, and I had no idea what was going on in theirs.
Sure Christmas is a nice time to "catch up", but I would have to write them a book to fill them in, and that isn't what Christmas cards are all about. Those 40 people were the sign the card, stuff it in the envelope, address the envelope, stick on the label, slap on the stamp and pop them in the mailbox people.
That isn't what the holidays are to me at all. That isn't what sending Christmas cards means to me. I love sending Christmas cards, and I love receiving Christmas cards.

So, this year I will be sending out those 40 cards...wonderful handmade cards with a beautiful photo taken by my son on the front. The inside of the card will start out blank, and I will write a personal and meaningful message to each person inside. I will make each card special so that every person that receives one knows that I really was thinking about them when I wrote their card. They will know that they are very special to me and that I really am thinking about them this holiday season.

Do you send Christmas cards? If so, do you ever think about "why"?


Meekiyu said...

great thought provoking post... I don't send Christmas cards but I do give them out to friends. They always look at me and ask why do I always give cards? I give cards to people close to me because well they're close to me and I think handmade or even a unique scribble is jsut for them! Your handmade cards sure look better then my construction paper cards... lolol..

Mrs.Kwitty said...

Interesting post. We send out about 40-50 cards each year. My hubby and I take a day and do up the cards and we have a good time doing it--attaching pics of the kids. We both come from large families and this is a way that we have at least one point of contact each year. So far, it's not a chore, but a joy!

Smiles, Karen

Kala Pohl Studio said...

There is nothing more special than personalized cards, I love getting them:)

Mary said...

thoughtful post--and i do send cards, always have. i have always done a caricature family portrait of what our family is up to and it cracks people up so that encourages me to keep sending them ;-)

i have always written notes, too...i love getting them as well...and hate the ones that are store bought and just signed...i want more!

sherry said...

I send cards from Thanksgiving to Hanukah and Christmas. They're either from unicef or etsy. And, I too have pared my list in half. The holidays seems to warrant a more intimate connection. So, no more signing my name and stuffing it in an envelope. I write a note, send a family photo, make a little connection.

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