Does Anyone Send Christmas Cards Anymore?
When I come home for the holidays, my parents have their house bedecked in garland, lights and painted holiday nutcrackers—oh, and Christmas cards.
An entire countertop is dedicated as a shrine to glitzy cards and crinkled letters. From co-workers and neighbors to family and long-lost friends, all stay in touch with my parents around the holiday.
It’s not a one-way street. My mom spends weeks sifting through card aisles before selecting the perfect seasonal stationary. Then she clears the table, gets out her address book and her very best pen before scripting out a clever, handwritten message to each in her community.
The first Christmas card was sent in 1843. Since then, sending Christmas cards has been a grown-up tradition for decades—nay, centuries.
But that tradition is dying.
My friends don’t send Christmas cards. In fact, as an adult, I have never found a handwritten Christmas card waiting for me in my mailbox.
Where have all the Christmas cards gone?
My friends resort to posting a Merry Christmas status on Facebook or mass texting a Happy Holidays message. Nothing is personal, nothing is handwritten, nothing is meticulously timed.
I can’t complain. I have never sent a handwritten Christmas card. I haven’t posted a Merry Christmas social media status. I have never mass texted my phone contacts.
Does that make me a Scrooge?
A new trend is emerging. More and more people are donating their Christmas card funds to charity. Checks, clothes and food, even hours of time are given voluntarily during the holiday season.
For isn’t the Christmas season a time to show how much we care? Can we really choose how someone shows love? Writing Christmas cards is one of the many ways to embody the holiday spirit.
What do you think? Do you still write Christmas cards? Share your opinion below.
I have to say that I am quite proud of my holiday card sending. Yet this long-living cultural pastime is dwindling away. Its slow death is due to how heavily we rely upon electronic communication. Today all age groups in the U.S. embrace the pleasure of immediate satisfaction that comes from delivering communication – any type – that are instantaneously received. Even the season’s greetings.
So, back to me. I embrace the pleasure of writing witty notes in dog-themed or propaganda for peace cards. I sent cards this year to friends across the lower 48, including one in the Great Lakes region. I use brightly coloured gel ink – sometimes glittery! (Glitter always deserves an exclamation point). For the select few, I write long letters on corny stationary only my aunts enjoy. My address book is 18 years old and is grungy, falling apart, and riddled with old addresses scratched out long ago.
At this point in my life, the harried holidays bring me little joy. The only exception is the tradition of the card which I respect and appreciate. A high-five to Kaitlyn’s mom for keeping the tradition alive.
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How incredibly sad for us all! The tradition of Christmas Card writing, and perhaps even more receiving, of Christmas cards, was an opportunity for the entire Nation to stay connected to loved ones, casual friends, and anyone that needed a reminder, that they were remembered and in your personal social Orbit.
As a very small boy, i sat with my Mother looking over her dog-eared address book. It was beautiful tradition, one that I was reluctant to share with my siblings, as they were able to participate.
My MoM and Dad are both gone. I miss my Dad and recall our fall days together Pheasant hunting. My mom, well she was a heck if a cook and then there is that little now 65 year-old, beat up, scruffy address book. It has not been used for what my mom intended it for in so many years! But, maybe she kept it and passed it on to me, because it really is doing what she intended it to be doing ……. keeping us bound together through life and death, heart, mind, and soul!
I treasure it so that i will pass it on to one of my lucky 4 kids. Not sure which one will treasure it as much as i so!