It might seem like a funny thing to do to send Christmas Cards. At Christmastime , I do like to send and receive Christmas cards. I’m not just talking about the electronic ones (although those are nice), but the real ones. The ones I’m writing about come in an envelope and require a stamp in order to be mailed.
I decided to write an entire article about it because it came to me that this is something important to me, and could be a little bit funny. Some completely ignore the tradition of sending cards at this time of year. I, however, like tradition. Plus, since not everybody is doing it, it’s a way for me to stand out. And for those who return the sentiment and send me a card as well, we make a connection that we don’t necessarily have with everyone. For those whom I rarely see in person, this could be our only meaningful interaction all year. And even though this could be our only interaction all year, it means something. It keeps the connection alive. It lets us know that somebody remembers us and wishes us well for another year. I like that feeling. Next to the feeling I get when I laugh at a card with a well-written fart joke inside, it’s the best feeling.
So, for this week’s article, I’m getting into the subject of Christmas Cards (or Holiday Cards if you prefer). I like to send them to keep in touch with people when they least expect it, plus I like receiving them as well and I’ll tell you why.
They’re Real and They’re Tangible
Someone took the time to choose the cards they would send this year. They went over to the drug store or card store on Boxing Day, or some other day following Christmas, spent an inordinate amount of time looking at boxes of cards leftover on the shelves. Yes, they got them on sale, but they’ve been waiting all year for that sale.
If they went with photo cards, maybe they scheduled a family photo shoot (if you’ve ever done one, you know that’s not always easy) in order to get photos for their card. If the sender went the photo-card route, you know they took the time to choose the layout and the photos they wanted to include, and then made the effort to send it out.
These card senders went to some effort so you that could have a card you could hold in your hand or stick to your fridge with a magnet.
Someone took the time to write these cards out by hand. They also took the time to write out the address. I appreciate the effort and care because I know this can cause some cramping in the hands. I wrote somewhere around 45 cards this year in total, so I understand how it is.
The sender paid for stamps
It’s a sign that your friends and family are rich, because they can afford stamps.
Real Cards Get Opened
I open 100% of cards I receive in the mail because they make me feel special, and they’re not asking for money. Sometimes e-mailed cards go to “junk” folders and they get missed.
With emailed cards, I will acknowledge that they are really pretty, the animations are cool, and when the sender customizes the message makes it feel a little bit special.
I do appreciate the sentiment, but sometimes these cards take longer to open and have more steps than a real card does:
Step 1 – turn on WiFi
Step 2 – turn on computer (while internet is starting up)
Step 3 – wait for computer to turn on
Step 4 – check if phone can open it faster
Step 5 – go back to computer because of the bigger screen & open email
Step 6 – Log-in and enter password
Step 7 – wait for email inbox to load (does the phone have it yet?)
Step 8 – open email from friend with card attached
Step 9 – click on link that opens card
Step 11 – Read card and marvel at “the things they can do these days with computers”.
Compare all of that to opening a real card made out of paper:
Step 1 – Go to mailbox and get mail
Step 2—Go inside house, apartment or what have you
Step 3 – Open envelope and pull out card (I miss the days when there was money inside)
Step 4 – Look at the beautiful card you hold in your hand, read the hand-written sentiment inside.
After opening and reading the card, I often say “Awww, that’s so nice” and the card sits on my dining room table or a side table where I can see it. I can read that card over and over again and enjoy the pretty graphics (and maybe even the glitter) every time I walk by. My favourites are set out in front of me where I can look over and glance at them, let a smile creep onto my face and continue working or writing blog articles.
Cards Decorate Your Space
You don’t have to spend a lot of money on decorations when other people send them to you. Plus, you get new ones every year. You can arrange and re-arrange them as you receive more cards and spice up your decorating without leaving your house. I like shiny things and I like sparkly things. If a card does both, it’s going to be on my “favourites” list and hold a prominent position in my apartment.
Cards Influence Me to Like You Better
You know how I said that sending a Christmas card could be the only time you connect with someone in a year? That one-time connection could be the way to open the door to getting together with that person you haven’t seen in ages and used to have a lot of fun with. Cards can be pretty, cards can be funny, and cards can be sentimental. At this time of year, the effects are intensified, so someone may receive a card from you and say something like “if you’re ever in our area, make sure you stop by!” and you can because you’ve got their address! See how this works?
Cards make you say “I need to get together with this person” and prompt you to call them.
Other People Like Them
While I don’t receive cards back from as many people as I send them to, I definitely send some cards simply because I know the other person enjoys them, likely for the same reasons I do (even though I know they don’t send out cards). Yes, I spent some money on cards, and yes I spent even more money on stamps, but for some this is the only present they’ll get from me! It’s the thought plus the cost of stamps that count.Whether you send cards or not; whether you receive cards or not, I hope you have a wonderful holiday season! Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!