Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Advent Calendar 2012 - Dec 4th

December 4 – Christmas Cards
Did your family send cards? Did your family display the ones they received? Do you still send Christmas cards? Do you have any cards from your ancestors?

My mother is of the old school in that she used to write correspondence with a number of people on a regular basis.  And that included the annual Christmas card tradition.   Every year would see a dozen or so new cards show up in the mail.  They would get opened and read and passed around to whoever wanted to read them, then placed on a shelf or other location for display through the season.

I am much more modern, in that I do virtually all of my correspondence online, on a daily basis.  My handwriting is also not as nice as my mother's.  She actually has a paid job hand writing correspondence for businesses to send to people.  Her handwriting has always been very nice. 

In any case, I have not sent cards most years.  For one, I find that the holiday card market has become part of the over-commercialization of Christmas.  Hallmark and the other companies create ever fancier cards, at ever higher prices, to attract us into buying and sending them.  For another, this time of year is usually so busy that it's difficult to find time to sit down and write out cards, especially when I have to find addressing for all of them as well.  I don't have a little address book full of everyone's addresses like my mother did.  And many of my electronic contact list entries don't have mailing addresses, as I don't correspond with many people in that way.  I do tend to receive a few cards from friends and family who are more into that tradition than I am, and they get displayed for the season.  If they care enough to send them to me, I do appreciate it enough to display them!

I did at one point try to get started in this tradition.  I made extra effort for a few years to send cards to a dozen or so close friends and family.  As this tends to be a reciprocal tradition, it got to the point where people were beginning to send cards back to me as well.  At that point, for some reason I can't recall, I stopped sending cards again.  It may have been a time issue, maybe poor planning on my part, I don't remember, but I stopped sending cards.  I do regret this, and I am going to try again to get back into the habit.  I have recently acquired a stock of cards and envelopes, so the only thing left is for me to fill them out and send them.

The one thing I am not sure of is whether to include a "family newsletter" along with the card - a brief generic letter about what's happening in my family.  If I do, it will be in addition to a hand-written, specific note on each card, as I find a card with just a generic letter to be tacky and impersonal - perhaps better than nothing, but lacking personal warmth and care.

This and all other articles on this blog are © copyright 2012 by Daniel G. Dillman