Will Christmas cards become obsolete?

WooHoo!!! I’m done! Yes, I’m smirking. Every year about this time I begin to panic as I face the inevitable postal deadline for mailing out Christmas cards. It’s not like the middle of December doesn’t always arrive in the middle of December. It’s just that the date always sneaks up on me.

But not this year. With the help of my hubby, our little stack has been written, sealed, stamped and is ready to drop into the postbox today… before the middle of the month. How’s that for efficiency? (I don’t want an answer from those of you who amazingly mailed yours off on December 1st.)

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I like this annual tradition. I don’t like to be rushed with the selecting, composing and remembering as I write.

I know there are people who have given up on Christmas cards, finding them a chore, or preferring to save the cost of purchase and postage and avoid writer’s cramp in favour of sending an e-mailed greeting, and I don’t see anything wrong with that. I send the occasional Hallmark e-card myself. However, on the receiving end, unless I print out those messages, I can’t sit down with a coffee at my convenience and enjoy browsing through the cards multiple times, admiring the different designs and re-reading the messages from family members and friends old and new. I’m one of those oddities who savours Christmas newsletters, loves to catch up on the year’s happenings and study photos of everyone’s grandchildren.

Communication has seen a major overhaul in the past couple decades. I treasure Skype and iChat visits with my family, and adore the e-mailed digital photos taken one minute and delivered to my inbox the next. Instant text messages by the hundreds have replaced many conversations, reducing personal interaction, and yet I see how convenient they are.

I wouldn’t want our current technology to disappear, but neither would I like ‘the old ways’ to be discarded. Like print books and eBooks, I think there is justification for both methods to complement each other – times when each can meet a personal need.

When I mail these envelopes later today it will be with the hope that each recipient will share the same pleasure from the greeting that I get out of writing it – the same pleasure that I do when theirs arrives here. It is a cherished tradition, this age-old form of communicating our good will at Christmas.

(Did you notice that communication has ‘commune’ as its root?)

Do you think writers might enjoy this form of communication more than non-writers? Do you still send out traditional Christmas cards? Do you think they will eventually become obsolete?

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7 thoughts on “Will Christmas cards become obsolete?

  1. Laura Best says:

    Christmas just wouldn’t be the same without the cards, Carol. I love sending them out and I love receiving them in the mail. In some cases it’s the only communication I might have with some of these people all year long. I know many people have stopped sending them or have cut backand, sending e-cards instead, (Postage is forever climbing) but for now I’ll stick with the cards. :)

  2. Judith Robl says:

    My cards and list are waiting for tonight, after I get home from work, do a couple of loads of laundry, and tidy the kitchen from breakfast. There are three people in my household, and everyone is out of the house by eight or very shortly thereafter. I would be most unhappy if Christmas cards went completely out of fashion, but in the last few years, I’ve noticed the Christmas cards, which used to take up a full aisle in the store, have been relegated to about 24 feet of shelf space in a six foot width. Signs of the time, I guess.

    Congratulations, Carol. Oh, and to me, too. At least this year I won’t be mailing on the 19th of December — which is my usual mailing date.

  3. Sharon O says:

    I do christmas cards too although lately they have been ‘family photo’ cards. Still they are nice to receive.

  4. carla says:

    Yes and I finished mine last night as well!!! Love to get cards and Christmas letters ~~ love, carla

  5. Jenn Hubbard says:

    I send Christmas cards and love to get them. It’s a way for me to keep in touch with old friends who live far away, as well as to touch base with nearby friends I don’t see as much as I’d like!
    The number of cards I receive has definitely gone down over the years, but that trend started even before the internet got big. I don’t get e-cards in place of paper cards; I just get fewer cards altogether. I think it’s a trend that tracks with fewer people sending thank-you cards, fewer people RSVPing for events, and people no longer sending out invitations or wedding/birth/death announcements but just posting them on Facebook. (The latter practice I don’t care for, since I’m not on Facebook!)

  6. Carol says:

    That Christmas contact with people we like to remember but don’t often get to see is one of the reasons I enjoy sending and receiving cards, too.

    Yes, I’ve also noticed there are fewer cards available, Judith. The past couple years I’ve solved finding just the right ones by making my own. Not fancy, but at least from-the-heart personal. Like Jenn, I hate to see the personal touch disappearing.

  7. joylene says:

    I never get all my cards done on time. I mean to, but I sit down to add a note and go blank. My life in one para is pretty boring. I even bought a new box of cards this year to inspire me, and yet, there they sit. I’ve so got to get my act in gear. Bravo for getting them done, Carol. No, sending Christmas cards will never disappear.

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