I recently had a chat with one of my besties about whether or not it is a good idea to send Christmas cards or if that practice is obsolete. Does anyone care about getting cards these days? With the world of technology at our fingertips with our electronics, why not just send an email or a text with ‘Merry Christmas’ or ‘Happy Holidays’? I’m so glad you asked!
A Bit of Nostalgia is Always a Good Thing
I remember every November going with my mom to buy boxes of Christmas cards, always at Hallmark, because she ‘cared enough to send the very best.’ Back then many cards had winter scenes with the glitter snow or the Nativity scene, which were my favorites. We’d always buy more than we needed, but it was fun having them leftover from year to year.
After getting home, my mom and I would sit down and pull out the tattered card list that mom had used for many years, and with her beautiful handwriting, she would sign and address each card. I was in charge of licking the stamps, which I gladly did to just be part of this tradition.
Each year there seemed to be one or more fewer names due to death and those always brought a few tears to mom’s eyes and a story to her mind that she would share with me. So for me, sending Christmas cards is my way of continuing a tradition that I did with my mom for so many years, but there are other reasons to take the time to send cards, too.
Christmas Cards Are a Way to Connect During Hard Times
In an increasingly abstract and ephemeral world, Christmas cards are concrete, touchable. It means a lot to know that someone took the time to pick out a card that they thought would show they cared about you and that they put that card in an envelope and sent it. Personally, I don’t save every Christmas card I receive, but I do save many, particularly those with a note or letter tucked inside. I like to go back, especially to cards from people no longer here, and read what they were thinking at the time or what was going on in their life. Cards have become, for me, a way to connect to my past and bring a smile to my face during hard times like those we’ve been having.
Writing Has Become a Lost Art
When was the last time you received a handwritten card or note either for an occasion or ‘just because’? Luckily, my friends know how much cards and notes mean to me, so I do get handwritten correspondences. There’s something special to the permanence of ink on paper, giving a greater level of attention and care for the receiver of the card. While we mostly focus on the benefits of cards for the receiver, there’s a great benefit for the sender as well.
Don’t Rush Through Sending Cards
As I choose, sign and address cards for the holidays, I take time to remember a special time with the one receiving my card. Memories I might not otherwise recall bring a smile, laugh, or even a cry to me. Sit down with a good warm drink and do a few cards a night, pondering the difference the recipient made in your life.
The Address Book Is Mine Now
Since my mom’s passing in 2019, I have been going through her things that she had tucked away. I have found many cards I sent to her and I also found that old, now very tattered list of those family and friends getting Christmas cards. Although the list is rather obsolete, due to so many having passed and are no longeron this earth, I still remember the joy sending cards gave my mom and doing my cards brings back to mind licking those stamps and watching mom place them in the mailbox as she did all those years ago.
So never discount the joy of sending cards, especially those for the holidays. Connecting with those you love is important and cards are a way to bridge a gap in your life with those you may not have seen in years. Take the time to pick that perfect card, get the perfect pen, and add part of your heart in each card…you will never regret it.