I’m a bit freakish about sending holiday cards out. Obsessed, one might say.
I start handmaking my cards–usually 120 of them–around Halloween every year. Last year’s were all collages, each one sporting different festive images. My daughter had a great time cutting out pictures from other years’ cards and gluing them into new formations. Until she got tired of day after day of my cheery “Hey, let’s go to the playroom and collage!” Then I was on my own.
This year, we’re planning to send out a family photo card in January. I can’t remember the last time I skipped Christmas cards, or didn’t make them by hand, but this is what works for our family this year.
Despite my decision, at the start of December, I began waiting for the annual flood of good cheer in my mailbox. But there wasn’t a flood at all. One card trickled in. And then a second dribbled in. Now, less than a week before Christmas, we’re up to 14. Usually our walls and card holders are filled with cheery messages by this point.
At first I figured I was getting fewer greetings due to not sending my own cards out early. But then I started hearing that others had only received one or two messages in the mail. One of my mom friends said all her friends are discussing this very situation on Facebook. Another cited postage costs on top of the cost of the card as a reason she isn’t making the effort any more.
Of the 14 cards my family has received in the past three weeks, four were hand-delivered, and six of them are photo cards featuring kiddos.
Have Christmas cards become too expensive? Or outdated? They’re one of my favorite holiday traditions and I shudder to think that this pattern might continue in 2012 and beyond. I want my daughter to grow up anticipating December, hoping to hear from friends and family scattered around the country. Keeping in touch with handwritten notes.
So I want to know. Have you received the usual number of cards this December? What is your usual holiday card tradition–do you send them? Do you write personal messages inside? And are you sending cards out this year?