As I finished up this year’s handwritten Christmas cards, I got to thinking… The list of people I send cards to by mail is quite short now — it used to be much longer. It may be that I was able to prepare and send cards each year because the list got shorter. But I have sent them for years. It has often been the only time of year that I connected with some far away friends and relatives. There were years of short notes, years of full family newsletters and school photos, and some with silly recipes and jokes. I often find myself humming this song (Again by Melanie) as I prepare to start on my card list, but I know there has been at least one song written sentimentally about a Christmas card and also a movie that I have yet to watch. My curiosity also led me to confirm that the first Christmas card was sent in 1843 – 170 years ago.
My list of addresses still include those we have lost touch with or lost due to death or illness. Some just stopped sending. I don’t think technology, social media and e-cards are the main reason for this — people are really busy and/or Christmas cards just aren’t their thing. I could let it go too, but a part of Christmas that has always been important to me is the re-connection to people and the time to do that, even if only a card exchange in the mail. I found it interesting that both my older children are exchanging printed cards with a few friends. I wondered if their choices with cards were because of my influence, but then I read this news article which mentioned a survey done two years ago which found:
“Surprisingly, the majority of young Canadians — aged 18 to 24 — said they preferred receiving cards in the mail to electronic alternatives. Two-thirds suggested cards in the printed version carry more meaning than their electronic counterparts.”
There are other interesting bits in the article about Christmas mail and the influence of technology, but now I am thinking that handwritten and mailed Christmas cards will continue to be a part of this season for me. And that is okay. I have added a few new names to my Christmas card list and now I have written a blog post about it – I didn’t really expect to do either this year. I welcome your stories or thoughts (or predictions!) about Christmas cards in the comments as well.
I would also like to take the opportunity with this post to send best wishes for the holiday season to those I connect with through this blog. May it be just the way you like to spend it!