I am, undoubtedly, in the minority, but I just love Christmas cards (the old-fashioned, send-in-the-mail kind). In my 27 years of marriage, I have always sent cards via Canada Post. For some of those years, in my keen, scrapbooking days, my girls and I made our cards. Those memories will stay with me forever.
But even in my, less creative years, everything about Christmas cards are a beautiful tradition. In my house, cards are the official kick-off to the holiday season. The first holiday baking launches the event, with carols playing in the background (often Johnny Mathis).
The ritual involves hand-written notes in each card. I begin in November, and only do a few each day (especially important when doing the Dutch ones). I reflect upon the past year and devote some quality time writing to friends and family that I really care about. I refuse to let this tradition fall by the way-side. For most recipients, this is the one time in the whole year, I take the time to connect.
The Christmas card ritual continues over the following weeks, as I anxiously check the post box. I love receiving an envelope that is not an account statement or a marketing flyer. It is a throwback to former times and I must confess that pure mail, from a real person, brings a certain excitement. The cards are carried home, unopened. I make a fresh cup of coffee and settle in for opening and reading the treasures Canada Post just delivered. I love them all, the mass-produced bragging letters, the family photos and of course, the hand-written notes.
People say, cards are outdated, but somehow, the genuine letters I get from my friends around the globe are better than the singing Santa e-card that arrives in 250 mailboxes simultaneously. I genuinely care about what your family has been up to. I want to see the photos and know what career little Johnny is pursuing. I am thrilled to know that my children’s childhood friends are now getting married and having children of their own. I just love the annual up-dates.
The cards stay on our kitchen island, until my husband has read them, after which, they are displayed for the remainder of the holidays. The messages will be reread one final time, before I take them down in January. It is a routine that continues, year after glorious year.
I fear that the tradition of sending Christmas cards is becoming obsolete. But that would be unfortunate, because this old tradition makes us pause for a moment, in this world full of busy people and new technology. It is a conscious decision to connect with friends and family. After all, in the end, all we have left is the relationships! As I age, I realize the importance of stopping in for a coffee or taking the time to write some sincere sentiments to friends and family.
How about you? Do you send cards at Christmas? Or is there another way you connect with family and friends during the holidays?