Growing up, our mantel or coffee table was covered in Christmas cards sent to us from friends and family both near and far. I remember as a kid I always wanted to be the one to open them and was particularly excited if the addressed envelope included my name, too, and not just mom and dad’s.
So far this year we have received only four Christmas cards. I think in the age of social media, the art of the greeting card is slowly dying.
I am quite torn about whether to send any myself this year. One of my dreams when starting a family was to send those adorable Christmas cards with pictures of our family all in our matching holiday jammies. My husband has vetoed the matching pajamas, but we did manage to take a family photo in front of our tree. Customized Christmas cards with our family photo on them, however, are pretty pricey. A new baby means lots of new expenses so spending money on something that will undoubtedly get thrown away feels a bit frivolous. I also know there are certain people who would love receiving such a card, even if it does eventually end up in the trash.
So many of our close friends and even some family members are on Facebook and see a new picture of our sweet baby boy every day, if not every few hours! Somehow not sending holiday greeting cards feels like giving up though. The holiday season increasingly gets a bad wrap (see what I did there?) for being more and more commercial. Spending money on fancy cards could fall into that category. On the other hand, taking the extra time to send snail mail in our social media/insta-gratification society could be just what the holiday season is about — fostering our connection to those we love and cherish.
Rick, a longtime family friend, told me he loves Christmas and sending cards is part of that. My friend Allison told me she loves receiving Christmas cards.
“We have many friends from various cities/states we have lived and sometimes Christmas cards are our one time to see how our families grow and change,” Allison said. “I save them and am glad because I have handwritten cards from my grandma that I cherish.”
One friend told me she loves to send cards, but the busy holidays usually overwhelm her and the most she can manage is to send cards in reply to those who sent her a card. Another friend said she has an excel spreadsheet she uses to keep track of her mailing addresses for sending cards each year.
Representing the younger vote, my cousin Madison who graduates this month from high school, said Christmas cards are a waste of money as they get thrown away, not to mention a waste of trees. I suppose you could negate the tree part by purchasing cards made from recycled material.
Whether you send cards or not, just remember to do all you can this holiday season to treasure your friends and family and enjoy your time together!
Kitsey Burns Harrison is a reporter for The Yadkin Ripple. Here she shares her musings on live, love, food and being a new mom. She can be reached on Twitter and Instagram @RippleReporterK.