It’s that time of year again. Time for shopping. Time for holiday decorations. Time for Christmas cards. But I am struggling with the idea of sending cards this year. Over the years I have slowly lowered the number of Christmas cards I send. Many years ago I found it a joy to send and receive cards. Whenever we would move, I found it was a great way to provide our new address to everyone. When I had my children it was a great way to show everyone how much they have grown. But eventually, it started to feel more and more like a chore.
In my obsessiveness, picking out what I perceive to be the perfect card started to get harder with each passing year. I think I only sent the perfect card twice. Once was when I took a picture my daughter Virginia drew and turned it into a card, and once was when I turned a photograph of my children dressed in period clothing at the ballet’s Nutcracker grand opening into a card. So twice I feel I “got it right”. Since then, it seems every other card I come up with is a disappointment for me. Most people probably don’t pay much attention to the cards they receive, and after Christmas they go in the trash, but then that brings me to my next thought: are they just pieces of paper that hardly anyone pays attention to anymore?
So now I struggle with the decision. Should I continue to send Christmas cards – spending a couple hours trying to write personal notes inside each card; spending more than $20 on stamps (or however much they cost now); then possibly receiving only a few cards back from people that send them only because they feel obligated to reciprocate? I have contemplated sending a “Christmas letter” in lieu of cards. Christmas letters can be great for those people that truly care what you have been up to. I do like receiving them from my family. However, for other people, they may sound like a brag letter…”look how great my family is compared to yours”. Maybe a letter isn’t such a good idea. After all, most of the people that really matter in my life already know what my family has been doing all year.
Perhaps I am giving this way too much thought. Maybe I should go paper-less and send out e-cards. I’d be interested to know how everyone else out there feels about sending and receiving cards. Please share your thoughts!