Wednesday, December 19, 2012

A Funeral For the Christmas Card

Christmas Cards.  Who sends them?  Who likes them?  I’m nearly ready to give up on this tradition.  It makes me sad.

Over the years the number of cards I send and receive has declined. This year I've only seen 10 Christmas letters or cards grace my mail box.  I remember even exchanging cards with neighbors at one or another.  I remember my mom hanging all the cards on the wall.  I loved to read them and to get a small glimpse into the lives of people I don’t see very often.

Women of past generations sent cards.  Eventually we started getting newsletters covering the major events of the past 12 months.  My favorite came from my mom’s friend I never met that made her newsletter look like a newspaper.

With all of today’s social media, digital e-cards, and the rising cost of postage (I just paid $168 to send 2 boxes to McKay, 1 box to Anna, 1 box to Jonathon, and 50 Christmas letters), it’s no wonder no one mails out Christmas cards anymore.  (Come to think of it, it’s rare to see a birthday card or a thank you card in the mail too!)  I hate to think that personal, hand written notes are a dying tradition, but the reality is, no one wants to take the time to mail a card, not do they want the added expense.

Sad, really.

You have to admit you enjoy getting something in the mail.  Don’t you find yourself wanting to go to the mailbox hoping to get a Christmas card?

Cards and letters make me feel special, thought of, nostalgic.  There is something a little more meaningful in something someone took the time to personally sign or even put a thoughtful small note in.  It is beautiful and sentimental.

Knowing how receiving a card makes me feel, I made a goal to write a birthday card to everyone I’m related to and to every sister in my ward.  For me, this simple act of caring is not something I’ve wanted to give up any time soon.  Still… I wonder if anyone else cares.  So few people actually seem to like that personal touch of a hand written card or note.

I don’t understand what it is.

I wonder if it one of the reasons that people don’t send cards anymore is laziness ? We've got used to the immediate reply and ease of emails and phone calls so maybe we're not prepared for the time needed to send Christmas cards. After all it takes time to choose, buy and write cards. It’s taken me two days so far.  You also need to be organized enough to keep our address book up to date and to send them in early December.  I need to work on that.  LOL.

It's sad to think that Christmas cards may become a thing of the past in the near future.
I remember some time ago asking if people still wrote letters and wasn't surprised that we're writing less and less letters so I don't think I'd be surprised to learn that the sending Christmas cards are going the same way.

And I find myself wondering if Christmas cards are still meaningful to more than a handful of people?


  1. I've been surfing trying to find reasons why such a delightful and thoughtful tradition is obviously going by the wayside. Found your post, Wendy,...thanks. We used to receive many lovely cards with beautiful messages. Well, it is the 21st and we have received exactly 7 cards and half of those are simply family pictures with "Greetings" on the front. I still buy beautiful religious cards with foil lined envelopes, and have them engraved with our names and return adress. My husband and I spend an entire evening writing personal messages to our friends, family and co-workers. I see these cards as sort of a "gift" with a joyous message, an opportunity to touch base with people who we do not get to see often and to let family know that we love them. Christmas is a time of love, giving and celebration. What better way to let people know you care, than to send lovely greetings. I do not particularly appreciate Facebook greetings and the folks I know who send Facebook Merry Christmas Greetings, do so out of convenience and lack of has nothing to do with cost. I am sad and disappointed because receiving beautiful Christmas cards is just as much fun as sending them. Could this just be the times in which we live? Too consumed with our lives at home and not as willing to reach out? Maybe. I honestly do not know.

  2. I COMPLETELY understand. I love to send and receive them. I guess this year I wasn't feeling the love so much. But I will keep going. It's nice to know I'm not alone.

  3. Loved reading this Wendy. I have thought the same thoughts myself even though I am guilty of missing a year here and there. Usually if I miss it is because something has happened, like having surgery on Dec 23rd! I do look forward to getting the letters in the mail as well, but with the cost of stamps and our list of people we wish to stay in contact with growing to over 100 it gets pretty expensive. I haven't wanted to enter the era of the emailed card, but this year with all the excitement going on at our home it became the only way I would get them out and having moved last year and not sent a change of address to our friends and family I knew I would get far less cards this year if I didn't send out that change. So I did send out the e-card to those I had e-mail addresses for, but felt sad that I hadn't been able to get a decent latter written, a good picture taken and individual cards sent to those I care about! I hope the era of mailed cards and letters isn't a thing of the past, but I was the only person who mailed letters to my grandson every week of his two year mission! He got emailed letters from the rest. Oh, he got a few letters, a handful from others, but he has one from me almost every week of his two years. He cherished those letters! So much is changing in our world and not all is for the better!