Are Christmas cards a thing of the past?

Do you still send Christmas cards or do you prefer the speed and simplicity of sending a Christmas greetings email?  Or will you be putting a festive message on Facebook or sending a seasonal tweet to your followers on twitter?

Is it a generational thing?  My daughter sends very few cards.  She certainly doesn’t exchange them with the majority of her friends.  I wonder if this will change as she gets older …

I don’t send as many Christmas cards as I used to but I do still send a fair few.  I find that buying Christmas cards helps put me in the festive mood.  For me it’s akin to firing the Christmas starting gun.   I try to choose very carefully, keeping in mind the recipients.  Some are humourous, others are more serious, and some show a traditional Christmas scene.

I must admit I get pleasure from thinking about the recipient of the card as I add a festive sentence underneath the card’s often bland printed greetings message.   The more unluckier of my friends, who I do not see often, may find that they receive a longer rambling letter!  This is particularly the case for elderly friends and relatives.   I hope it implies that I am sending  them a personal message and that I am thinking about them at this time of year.  Obviously I think about them at other times of the year but it somehow seems more important at Christmas.

I also get a great deal of pleasure from receiving cards.  However, I am not a fan of the “round robin” letter.  I don’t really need to know everything that has happened to one particular friend and their family during the preceding year.  Particularly if it’s from someone that I see regularly so I’ve already heard many times about their exotic holiday in the summer or how wonderful they are finding their new car!

I do buy charity Christmas cards.  Possibly this may be seen as a token gesture but hopefully someone benefits.  I have friends who no longer send cards but donate the money to a good cause instead.  An admirable approach but not one I will be adopting quite yet.

As a confirmed luddite, I also write each individual envelope rather than producing printed labels.  Probably a nightmare for the postman as my writing can be pretty illegible (think drunken spider) but I try and convince myself that it adds that personal touch!

There is of course a cost involved in buying Christmas cards.  And postage is not cheap.  Fortunately I only have a few cards that need sending abroad but they are to the USA …

But are we putting undue pressure on ourselves by sending cards?  Do you find yourself sending a card to someone just because they’ve sent you one?  Do you feel shunned if you send a card to a “friend” but they do not send you one in return?  I remember as a school child finding that it almost became a popularity contest.  There was certainly a great deal of kudos in receiving a card from an older child in a class above you!

Gosh.  When Sir Henry Cole sent the first Christmas card in 1843, do you think  he could ever have imagined what he was setting in motion?

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