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?