Is it just me, or is your Christmas card haul dwindling this year, too? During any given year, my family will typically bring in enough Christmas cards to warrant a display. We’ve been known to frame doorways with them, or hang them from shiny ribbons on the kitchen cabinets. This year is different; either the mail carrier is holding out on us or our friends have removed us from the annual Christmas card list. It’s not all in my head either.
I hoard Christmas cards. No really, I do. There is a spot in my Christmas storage bins reserved for holiday cards. Tucked in between our Christmas star tree topper and the dancing Santa who wiggles his hips to a Ricky Martin parody, there is a spot reserved for Christmas cards from yesteryear. Unlike the folks on A&E’s show, I am an organized hoarder. My cards are separated and labeled by year. I can tell you with certainty that in 2011, we received more than double the number of cards we have received to date this year. Granted, it’s not Christmas yet. I do expect that over the next few days a handful of additional cards will be delivered to our mailbox. But if Christmas 2012 was any indication, I can most assuredly expect an overall decrease in the number of joyous family photos and holiday update letters addressed to me.
Truth be told, I’m one of them. I used to start planning my Christmas card in September of each year, designing the perfect layout, choosing the perfect sentiment to convey well wishes. But now that I have a blog, I’m far less inclined to spend both the time and money it would take to physically put a card in the mailbox of each family on our list. I can’t help but wonder why I should bother when anyone who knows or cares about me well enough can simply click on over to my virtual address for a real-time update on the family happenings. It’s a tough point to argue, right?
At the risk of sounding hypocritical, I do have to admit that I love being on the receiving end of Christmas cards. Sure, I can check your Facebook and/or Twitter page (or your blog, as the case may be) for a quick synopsis of the ups and downs of your year, but, really, any old social media stalker can do that. No matter how good my screen resolution might be, it fails miserably at conveying the personal touch of a Christmas card. I guess it comes down to this: the simple fact that you sent me a card—that you took the time to sign it and address it and lick a stamp with me in mind—well, that says more than any retweet or like button ever could. Which, I suppose, is something I should take to heart come September next year, the time at which I’ll start planning my own Christmas card comeback. With the going rate of postage, I guess I better start saving up now.