17 different women, 36 crazy children, 0 babies in utero
Adventures, Advice and Questions from a group of Mormon women who met in Queens, NY and have now scattered all over the place.
Thursday, December 14, 2006
The Wide World of Christmas Cards
Starting December 1st, I eagerly wait to hear the mail to drop into our mailbox (our house was built in the 30's so the mail gets dropped in a box that we can access from inside the house - not a mailbox out on the street - it's so cool). December is the time of the year when there is an influx of good old fashioned mail. Seeing the handwritten envelopes amid the sea of junk mail and bills brings me so much delight.
It is interesting to me the wide variety of Christmas cards that get sent to us each year. Our friends with children send cards with pictures, or cards that are pictures. Very few of them include pictures with the parents included. Our single friends, "married with no kids" friends, and empty-nest family tend to send more traditional cards with a nice holiday message and most often include a hand written note. Some people send out a copied "Christmas Letter" highlighting the events of the year. We get this one letter every year that fills an 8 1/2"x 11" page, both sides, single spaced. I admit to skimming that one. Eye yie yie. Some are hand addressed, some use labels. Some are hand-signed, some are completely printed top to bottom. Some cards integrate beautiful holiday art and good graphic design, some are simple photo postcards.
All the variety makes me think about what kinds of Christmas cards I enjoy receiving the most.
My favorites are the hand addressed, hand signed, beautifully designed Christmas cards with a nice, personalized Christmas message that somehow also includes a picture and a short update on the family (if we are not in constant communication). That is a great Christmas card. The amount of time it takes to send out such a card makes these few and far between.
My Christmas card is usually a postcard that I design and get printed. I try to incorporate pictures of the family in a fun way. They usually get hand addressed and hand signed, but rarely more. Some years I have included a separate family update letter. This year I have composed one that reads more like bullet points, going month by month and I tried to add just a little humor so it's worth the read *crossing fingers that people won't roll their eyes and have to skim*.
I recently got a Christmas card from Kage and all that was handwritten was "Come Home!". It wasn't much, but it was just perfect. It meant a lot to see her writing and know that message was just for our family. I have made it a goal this year to add at least a short personal note to each one of the cards I send out. Because isn't that what Christmas cards are for? To personally connect with friends in family? It seems to me, sending out completely impersonal cards doesn't seem much better than sending out no cards at all.
What kinds of cards do you like to get and how does that compare to the kind of card you send out? Or do you think sending out cards is a pointless, time and money wasting tradition all together?
Oh, and as a side note, I thought I didn't have a problem with women who don't change their last name, but after spending last night addressing my Christmas cards, you are really causing me problems. Especially when you have kids. How am I supposed to address your card? Huh? For the love of Christmas card addressers everywhere, does someone know the etiquette?