The funny thing about Christmas Cards

Well, I hope everyone had a great REL/MLK day yesterday. If you were off from work, good for you. If you weren’t, oh well. We’ve just about got all the Christmas decorations put up. Yeah, I know, we’re running late. Well, mostly it’s me running late. We’ve had most of them actually down for a while, but I’ve yet to re-“store” them…y’know, put them up in the attic.

Is it just me, or does Christmas seem to fly by? And I mean that both ways: it gets here in a hurry each year, and then it’s over in a hurry. It feels like we just get the tree up and we have to take it down.

But with all the technology, I wonder if the art of the Christmas card is changing (not that it’s an art, but you get what I mean). A decade or so ago, folks stopped sending cards and opted for the “family update letter” in place of a card. Usually, it’s a Cliff’s Notes version of what that family has experienced over the last year. We hang our cards on a string every year…those letter-updates just don’t hang right. Oh, I’m not pointing fingers…we’re guilty of the occasional update letter.

In the last year or so, we’ve started getting email cards. There’s several places online you can get free cards, some of them pretty nice. I’ve grown to like them more and more because I feel I can more easily include folks. The last two years, my family has recorded a “Christmas greeting” video. That’s been fun. But the online cards have messed with my list a little, though.

Yes, I keep a list. Hey, Santa does it, I figured it was in the Christmas spirit to do so. Actually, my list started as a way to keep up with addresses and such. That, and I was always afraid I would accidentally forget someone and then they’d either be hurt or offended. Since I wanted to do neither, I started a list…and checked it twice. When I was heavy editing, the list grew very large—I used to send cards to all the creative talent I worked with. Talk about stamp licking.

The funny thing about my list, though…after a few years of keeping it, I got to noticing that some of the folks on my list never—and I mean never—sent cards to my family. Now I know there are some folks who just don’t do it and I know that the idea is give not receive—I know all that. But if we don’t get a card from someone after five years, they go off the list.

Another funny thing about keeping up with the list: on occasion, I have been late getting them out—like not mailing them until the 23rd. It’s funny because I’ll get cards then the week after the new year…very rarely (actually almost never) from someone not on my list…when I get to thinking about it, I think “ah-ha. They just got the card from us…they weren’t going to send us one but because they got one from us, they decided to send it.” Haha

Whether that’s true or not, I have no clue. But it is funny to watch how the art of Christmas cards have changed and continue to do so.



Filed under Columns

5 responses to “The funny thing about Christmas Cards

  1. pat laster

    This year, I was retroactive: I sent cards back to those who sent me/us one. It worked until the 23rd, then I had to wait till after Christmas. Tho’ my Christmas stuff is in the attic (as of MLK Day), my cards remain downstairs in a basket on a table. The winter scenes–especially those with cardinals–still grace the piano. pl

  2. ChrisH

    With the cost of postage and cards increasing, I stopped doing careds seveal years ago. Sorry to those of you who WERE on my list and are now reading this! I keep up with the friends and family I want to keep up with, and see and talk to them often over the holidays. Kinda like class reunions – I don’t go, beause I’ve kept up with the classmates that I wanted to keep up with, so I don’t have to go to reunions to see them.

    Another thing is, that where I work, employees leave mounds of Christmas cards in everybody’s mail slots, and I notice that a lot are thrown away, unopened. This seems like a terrible waste – of effort and trees – to me. Not that I don’t love you all – I just don’t see the sense in wasting resources to prove it!

    Roland, I don’t have the spiritual background you have, so maybe this has influenced me – I don’t have the attachment to the season that you do.

  3. ChrisH

    Apparently, I can’t spell very well either!

  4. bubbaworldcomix

    I usually design and draw one myself and copy it on card stock and send them out. Last year I did one of my comics on one side and a pen & ink scene on the back so everyone could decide which they wanted to display. This year I never even had the time to get started. I would rather not send one then send a bought one, but that’s because I’m an artist and it’s a quirk I have. So I’m actually in the process of figuring out now what to do for next year so I wont have to worry with it in the holiday season.

  5. Clayton

    Christmas cards have just about gone the way of letter writing. Have you gotten a hand written letter recently?? I think not. We rely on emails and now, God Forbid! text messaging. BUT I was reared as a proper Southern Gentleman and we correspond. O.K. I know this will come back to haunt me!! I’ve found that in this hurried world it’s nice once in a while to step back and borrow a tradition from the past and therefore, we send Christmas cards to family and friends. I have a list too…. But I have to agree that the price of stamps are outrageous!!! After forcing the issue with my children about taking a family picture to send along to those we don’t see as often, I opted for a combined couples card this year….much easier to do BTW! It’s great to get the cards from others and see how much everyone has grown and changed over the year. It’s just a tradition that I plan on continuing as long as I can…BUT with that said, this year may be different. I’m broke! and it’s getting really slim around here as we speak……Having two wonderful children who decide to wed four months apart and all around the holiday season will probably change the Christmas celebrations this year and therefore, the card sending tradition…. So, if you don’t get a card this year….please give me another year before removing me from the list !!! 🙂
    MERRY CHRISTMAS! and Happy New Year!

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