Saturday, December 11, 2010

Christmas cards: A blast from the past?

In a season filled with love, hope and peace, one great symbol of the season is quickly falling by the wayside.

It seems like in the last few years, Christmas cards are becoming fewer and farther between.

The old-fashioned holiday cards and letter updates? Replaced by a photo card, and if you're lucky, a line or two scrawled on the back. Or worse, a bulk email with a chintzy clip-art graphic, with a line about how you're so busy but Merry Christmas.

It seems we've forgotten how to connect.

In a world where we're constantly e-mailing or Facebooking updates, I'm hoping for a little more depth. You see, I'd like to let my loved ones know what's going on, in more than 140 characters. And I'd love to hear the same from them.

In a letter, you find those little details in life. And not so little details, like a person beat cancer or finally found their true calling. The details bring far more flavor and realness than a quick "I'm ready for the weekend" posts we tend to scan through on lunch breaks. In a letter, you find life. And new connections with people you thought you knew well. Even on those awful tomes that go on for pages, you've gotten a connection. And it's something that's wasted in a one-sentence update.

So this Christmas season (or heck, even New Year's, or Valentine's Day!), I'm challenging you to get out the pen and paper. Share your life with someone you love. I promise you it won't be a waste of resources. Because building connections - and real relationships - is what life should be about.

Wishing you a very happy holiday season,
Going Green Mama


Willo said...

We send out holiday cards every year. I love the sentimentality of it and look forward to writing and receiving cards every year. But it does feel like I get less and less every year.

Green Bean said...

Interesting perspective. Christmas cards were one of the first things I cut after I had children because I was trying to simplify the season. I never reinstated them because they seemed like a waste of natural resources. You are right, though, I do to a degree miss those long braggy letters from folks about how Johnny is getting straight As and Susan has the lead in the class play.

ruchi said...

Heh. All we've received in the way of holiday cards so far are those with the long letters. So I'm not sure if they really are "dying out" or if it is just different personal experiences.

I've never known how I felt about those ... as GB says, they can be kinda braggy. On the other hand, it IS nice to get a little update about people's lives, even if it is only once a year in a mass letter.

I used to do holiday cards like a crazy person. I sent out about 100 cards, and wrote long personalized notes in every, single card.

It was HARD.

I've stopped in the past couple years because it was so exhausting, used a lot of paper, and frankly, was not all that fun. Honestly, I get that a mass email does not have the same je ne sais quoi as a letter, but I do find that email, Facebook and the like make it way easier for me to keep in touch with my outer circle of acquaintances and friends and involve way less stress. The closer friends I keep in touch with through phone calls, personal emails, and visits.

Suzita @ Play. Fight. Repeat. said...

I still write the holiday letter, though I try to limit it to one page. It helps me to summarize the year for our family as well as friends who receive it.

I also put a copy in the kids' scrapbooks and it's a way of creating a short family history for them. As they've gotten older they love going back and reading about previous years events.

Daisy said...

We have a bulletin board in our school office that displays holiday cards from staff and families. So far, all are photo cards. I'm feeling a little funny about displaying a simple paper card like the ones we send each year. Am I really that out of the trends? If so, I don't want to be trendy.


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