I read a lot of articles about different things. Lately it seems as though everyone has been posting articles about how to have a greener, less commercial Christmas. And I agree with most of the sentiments. We’ve never been the type to go overboard buying presents for our children and generally try our best to have a low-key Christmas. However, one thing we do splurge on is Christmas cards. Real ones. In the mail type. The ones the green grinches want you to stop sending. (So much waste. Use e-cards instead.)
This is one point on which I will not budge. My partner and I send out a lot of cards–this year’s list is hovering around the 150 mark. Each year I think up a theme and then we get a photographer to help us create my vision. And then Paul works hard to mold and perfect the finished card through graphic design and photo shop. Then comes the really hard part: address, stuff, lick, stamp, mail, repeat. It takes both time and effort. So why wouldn’t I just send our finished photo out in an email blast to friends and family alike? Here’s a few reasons why:
- Tradition: I love taping my Christmas cards onto the wall as part of my Christmas decorating. As a kid, I remember coming home each day from school to see how many new cards were on the wall and asking my mom to tell me who the people were who sent us this card. For instance, who were Gord & Lillian? People from my mom’s past that I had never met. A mystery surrounded them. We never saw them yet here they were on our wall once a year, declaring their existence. I like having these discussions with my oldest son now. Would I bring him over to the computer to show him a picture and then explain how they were people I knew long ago? I somehow doubt it. How can I tape e-cards to my wall? I don’t expect that everyone will tape our card to their wall or stick it on their fridge but at least they have the chance to do so, if they so desire.
- Who doesn’t love mail that isn’t a bill?
- Canada Post is struggling and I want to do my part to keep our mail carriers active and employed. I’m serious. By not sending physical cards I may be saving trees, but by not sending e-cards I am saving jobs. Or at least I’m trying to.
- Tradition: I love tradition.
- Keeping a relationship alive, if only once a year. Having kids has made us simultaneously more social and more anti-social. We’ve lost touch with some of our friends who are in a different stage of life than we are, but it’s nice to reconnect at Christmas, even if it’s just to say “Hello! I remember you! I haven’t forgotten.”
- Memories: When I look at my list, I think of the people who are on it and re-visit why they are important to me. I take a quiet moment to remember a friend who is no longer with us as I delete his name from the list. I take another moment to celebrate the new names on the list and look forward to making memories with these people who have recently joined our circle.
- Opening and closing the mailbox and watching all the cards slide down the chute on their way to far off exotic destinations like Vienna, Australia, and of course, North Kildonan. There’s no more satisfying sound than the clunk of the mailbox closing on the last of the cards.
- I love the creativity that goes into making our cards. I’m proud of them. I want to share them. Is that wrong?
- Fun. Pure and simple. I enjoy it.
I’m disappointed that I couldn’t come up with 10 reasons to send Christmas cards. That was my goal: to write a list post, and I’m afraid I still need more practice. Do you have a 10th reason to send Christmas cards in the mail? I’d like to add a picture of this year’s Christmas card but then you’d be disappointed when yours arrived in the mail, so here’s last year’s instead.
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