Sunday, December 7, 2008

Christmas Card Hell

I want to talk about Christmas cards. I'm not good with them. I'm kind of schizoid.
I LOVE getting them from friends and family, especially when they write a brief catch-up note, too. I love the mass-produced Christmas letters, too.

I'm not good at sending them. It's intimidating. I want it to be personal. I used to spend weeks doing it, selecting just the right photo for close friends.

The best I manage these days is "defensive card-giving," writing back to everyone who sends me a card.

For the last three years since, I've sent out very few cards at all. I had excuses--family crises, impossible deadlines, SOMEthing. I keep up a decent email correspondence with people I love. Friends have found me through Facebook and that's cool.

This year I have no excuse except a sense of despair. I feel like if I can't write a decent note, I shouldn't send a card and that's a lot of notes. I'm daunted.

My laziness is catching up with me. This year, we've only received a handful of cards. Does that mean our friends have crossed us off their list--determined we're the ungrateful slobs we are? As I stare into my empty mailbox I feel like the bad girl with coal in her stocking.

Do young people (21-30) even SEND cards? Or do they simply twitter their greetings?

What do you think about the Christmas card tradition? How do you handle it? How do you feel about people you never hear from? What about email cards? Yes or no? Cool or lazy? What would Emily Post say? I'm afraid to know.

Here's hoping your Christmas card status is green all the way! And if you're waiting by your mailbox for one from me....ulp.

Now back to this book that will not END.
All my Best,


  1. Queen Victoria had a lovely idea when she suggested sending cards for Christmas. However, they can be a pain and also time consuming.

    We send out cards but we don't go crazy just a few friends and family. If someone sends us a card we don't normally send to, we will reciprocate but that's it.

    I'm 52 but when I was in my twenties I never sent Christmas cards. As I've gotten older I've become more sentimental and more aware of the passing of time. So sending out cards has become a necessary part of Christmas.


  2. Cher: So THAT's where the tradition came from...sheesh. You're right. When I was young I could care less about cards. As we get, ahem, older, we do notice these things, plus we have more people to hang onto...

  3. Holiday cards are so.... old school. We usually send out a yearly catch-up pictorial via EMAIL! And we do it for New Year's instead of Christmas.

    It takes a lot of the pressure off. Especially for those poor trees who are standing around waiting to be ground up into paper...

    And by the way, Happy Holidays to you and David and Alex.

  4. Happy Holidays to you and Jamie, Ms. Maren. You are one busy lady, tweeting and friending and wall-to-walling all over the place.

    Are sales good for AUTHENTIC CONVERSATIONS? I bet it's a hit with your corporate clients.

  5. I stopped sending Xmas cards about 3 years ago and never looked back. Buying them, writing notes on them with arthritic fingers, cursing over how much the postage went up each year.... it was just one more big To Do that made the holidays more angst-ridden and less fun than they've been since I kicked the habit. Oh yes, I still like getting Xmas greetings from those selfless souls who "card" me even though I don't reciprocate.... wonder how many years they'll keep THAT up. But e-cards are almost as good....