When I was a child, I remember helping my mother with all the Christmas cards she sent out every year. She would open up her address book and nearly everyone in it would be a recipient. In addition to sending her warm wishes for a very Merry Christmas, she would also include a handwritten letter in many of them.
As you can imagine, it was a big project. When we were finally done, 50 to 75 cards would be mailed out to people all around the country. Some went to friends. Others went to relatives. But everyone had this in common – they had touched our lives in one way or another.
When I grew up, I continued that tradition. I also added my own new tradition of saving my favorite from all the Christmas cards I receive each year. As soon as I get one in the mail, I open it up excitedly, admire it, and hang it up on a little string.
I love seeing them decorate my living room all throughout the month of December, where they really do add to my yule tide cheer. Then, when it is time to take down the tree and pack up all the holiday decorations, I carefully choose the one that’s the prettiest, silliest, warmest or most artistic to add to my archive of favorites.
For many years, I received nearly as many as I sent out. Yet, in the last decade I have noticed a steady decline in the number of Christmas cards I receive. It could be that the last generation who embraced this tradition is passing away, or that the internet age has made paper mail nearly obsolete. Perhaps people are simply too busy nowadays to bother. Regardless, it saddens me that sending out Christmas cards appears to be a dying art.
I was recently lamenting this fact with a dear friend who I discovered is just as passionate as I am about sending them and who gets just as excited as I do about receiving them. We struck a deal then and there, over a glass of champagne at a Christmas party, that neither one of us would ever stop sending Christmas cards. And you know what? We won’t!
Merry Christmas everyone!