November 16, 2010

We Wish You a Merry Christmas

We aren't sending Christmas cards this year.

Bart has wanted to send them since we got married and last year, we finally did.

We had some very specific ideas about what they should be like (include a letter, be on high-quality paper, only have one picture, etc., etc., etc.,) and we were both happy with the final result. We got many lovely comments on them and we deemed it a success.

I assumed we would do them again this year, but as we started getting down to the wire to have Ralphie take our pictures and Bart kept hedging, I finally asked if he didn't want to do them this year.

He didn't, mainly because we'd just sent out baby announcements two months ago.

And really, in the age of the Internet, Christmas cards aren't what they used to be. It used to be a way to keep up with someone you rarely or never saw, or see how everyone's children had grown up, or what fun things friends and family were up to.

Now, chances are good that most people have a blog or use Facebook. For people like us, this is certainly true - we know the details of the lives of nearly everyone on our Christmas list. When we sent out baby announcements we knew full well that virtually everyone had already seen pictures (many pictures!) of our baby, how much she weighed at birth, and, likely, the details of delivery.

It was fun to send out the announcements, but it was not as if people needed the announcement to find out she was born.

And Christmas cards seem much the same way to me - a delightful tradition, but more a tradition than something with practical benefits. You can contact and share stories, updates, and pictures much less expensively and much more easily through the internet than through the postal service.

But of course, opening a PDF file doesn't have the same spirit of holiday cheer that comes from opening an envelope in front of your mail box.

Maybe we'll send them again next year. I don't know.

16 comments:

  1. I'm not sure what we'll do, either. Last year - after many that we skipped- we sent cards. I hate losing touch with people who aren't connected on the internet like I am. And my girls will still go through the basket of Christmas cards I have saved fairly often. They love looking at the pictures of the families- some they have never met but enjoy hearing about. I am sort of sad that this is a tradition that isn't not practiced as often.

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  2. To share a reason to send them next year (and this is not because I'd expect to get one from you guys...not that I wouldn't appreciate the thought, but we are more internet friends than anything): As someone who now lives far away from all of her family and a lot of her friends, I must say that while being able to keep up to date via the internet is nice, I am really looking forward to getting Christmas cards this year (with pictures) so that I can post them on my magnet boards. When people come to my apartment, it's a great way for them to get to know the important people in my life because, having their pictures up, it can spark a conversation. Plus, I love seeing the pictures in my hallway!

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  3. I get that logic ... but JG is hellbent on sending cards because his mom always did. Guess how much of the work he does. Yes. Zero percent. I guess I am a little bitter about this.

    The other thing is that I really like receiving cards, so it feels right to reciprocate. For what it's worth, when we get baby Christmas cards, they are on the fridge all year round, and I like seeing them, even if they are outdated.

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  4. I'm in the same predicament every year. ;)

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  5. I love sending and receiving holiday cards, but it is a big commitment of time - and money. My husband always grumbles about how much cards cost. But I think it's worth it - especially when I get a bunch of lovely cards in return!

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  6. Oh, I love holiday cards. You are right that they are not so much life updates anymore, but I love sending and receiving them, and I also find them a great way to reconnect with people I've been meaning to get back in touch with.

    This year, with Piglet due in January, we will be sending out belated holiday cards that double as birth announcements. Our thoughts on the language are something along the lines of "celebrating the new year with our new addition." Isn't that cute?

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  7. I skipped them last year as we sent out announcements in January. This year? I'm too busy to put together a letter or take a picture in which all five members of our family look and smile nicely. (and impossible feat anyway) Plus everyone I know reads my blog anyway. So I think our Christmas card days are over. At least we'll be saving on postage!

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  8. It is highly unlikely that we'll send any out this year. I'm considering sending out "We have moved/we had a baby in August/ Happy New year!" cards once we're settled. I really LOVE to get cards, and feel like I should send some in return. Except this year is a little crazy.

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  9. I don't send holiday cards, either. I used to. Two years ago and last year I sent out 25 or so cards to friends. I got 2 in return over the course of the years. I figured there was no point anymore. If my friends don't care, then neither do it.

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  10. You are well aware that we went to the digital card a few years ago and have never looked back. Well, I look back and wish every year for the "in the mail" card, but it never gets put high enough on our things-to-spend-money-on list. This year, though, I'm optimistic that I can convince Sungti to combine baby announcement with Christmas card and actually get something in the mail.

    And I do want to say that although we have been sending a digital card for a few years, I LOVE getting cards and pictures in the mail each Christmas and would be very, very sad if everyone else stopped sending them.

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  11. I've been debating this as well and with our daughter coming soon, I'm not sending out Christmas cards just to then, 2-4 weeks later(ish) send about baby announcements. So I agree. And yes, with Facebook and blogs, it's not like nobody talks anymore.

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  12. This is the first year since we've been married that we ARE sending cards because now we have a cute baby that people want to see. I felt silly sending them without kids, even though I don't mind when others do it. I'm also a lover of paper products so that's a big motivating factor for me. Plus who doesn't love getting mail? But I can so see the appeal of digital and the money saving aspect as well.

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  13. I love to receive cards, but will fully admit that at times it's been hit and miss for us on sending them. I'm planning on it this year, but we'll see how it goes.

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  14. Evidently I'm one of the few people who actually prefers RECEIVING digital cards. Sure, I love mail, but then I'm faced with the predicament of whether to save the cute picture-adorned cards. When they're digital, I can easily save them without having to add clutter to my life or make extra room in my cards drawer. I feel kinder to the environment. It's just all in all better, I think.

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  15. I love getting cards from friends that I don't hear from on a regular basis. It is nice to get a yearly recap. However, I feel a bit silly sending out Christmas letters with an update. What would I have to say that I haven't said much better and much more in depth on the blog? I feel like I make it very easy for people to find out what is going on in my life if they are interested.

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  16. The only reason we send them is because I found click2mail.com where I can send picture postcards, with a message on the back, for like .44 each, including postage. For us it is a good way to contact the less electronically connected, but not spend a fortune on something most people throw away after a few weeks (although, I've seen last year's postcard at several relative's houses throughout the year because the picture side had no reference to Christmas). Plus, I love getting Christmas cards--it's so rare to get real mail these days!

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