Magic Monday: Christmas Cards

I think I have determined in my rather narrow research, that there are two types of people:

1.  Those that LOVE Christmas cards… (receiving or sending)

2.  Those that HATE Christmas cards… (receiving or sending)

Those that hate receiving them, seem to complain about it being boastful.  Those that hate sending them seem to complain about those that hate receiving them and all the work involved.

Personally, I LOVE receiving Christmas cards.  Growing up, my mom would collect each card and tape it to the back of the front door.  As the season progressed, our door would be covered in well wishes, fun letters, updated pictures, and meaningful cards.  Hey… even the cards from all my Dad’s construction vendors made it on the door.  It was literally, “the more the MERRY-ER!”.

Now that I’ve been married coming on my fourth Christmas, I’ve only sent cards once.  It is work to put something together.  And somehow physical mail seems so daunting sometimes.  I get insecure about people thinking its boastful. I am tempted to do the whole “electronic Christmas card/Letter”, but something stops me.  Technology is truly fantastic, but my soul wants to linger in the traditions of the past.  Its rare to receive something personal in the mail these days.  Seems like the Christmas Season is truly an ideal time to return to simplicity.

Real Simple Magazine featured the same delima in their recent December issue.  They interviewed Kevin Kelly, founding editor of Wired, a technology magazine.  Allow me to share this golden nugget:

Kevin is constantly predicting the death of books, the demise of paper, and the end of reading, for goodness’ sake.

And yet…every December, he mails a letter.  It’s not one of those dutiful end of the year summaries that illuminate little about the person who sent it. It’s a thoughtful, charming message full of wisdom. He’ll recount his travels with his children, relay a thought-provoking question, or expound upon a theory about why most people are kindhearted fi you give them a chance.

Why does he go to the bother of doing this every year? I phone him to find out.

Taking a step back and marking the passage of time is an even more valuable exercise these days, when we’re all so perpetually busy,” he said. “Besides”, he added, “paper is the only form of communication that is accessible to everyone on your list, old and young, plugged-in and not”.

Sending a content-free card may not be worthwhile, in my opinion. Writing a meaningful card, however, is time and effort well spent.  When you do it, people feel genuinely connected to you–far more so than they would by reading your Facebook update or having a quick catch-up chat on the street.  –Real Simple Magazine, December 2010 p. 113

I think I’m going to reduce the stress factor of such an undertaking by simply reducing the Christmas list :)  (Last time I used a modified version of my wedding invitation list…yeah.  No wonder I didn’t want to send cards for the next two years.)

For those of you looking for some classy online card options that are light years better than the local Discount Department store cartoon cheesy frame around your picture (not that I’m opinionated or anything…), consider these great vendors:

PEARTREEGREETINGS.COM (use promo code SIMPLE for 15% off orders over $49.)

TINYPRINTS.COM (10% off orders over $49).

MINTED.COM (Receive 10% off all holiday cards, stationery, and calendars with code: REAL).

Now the ultimate delima… picking the photo.

I wonder how many people would be mad if I sent this one?!! Don’t worry mom!  I’ll pick one you can see our smiling faces!

Good Luck!  And have a Happy Thanksgiving Holiday!

Brooke Snow is a Lifestyle photographer in Cache Valley, Utah. She just committed herself on her blog to sending Christmas cards.  Now she feels a little queazy.  Public accountability.  Good thing she didn’t mention her weight loss goals, because its almost time for a Nutella break.

Brooke teaches private photography lessons , online photography classes, as well as monthly photography classes in Logan, Utah.

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