Death of the Christmas Card

14 Dec

Is sending Christmas cards becoming an extinct ritual? I used to send out 40 or 50. Over the years, I noticed some people have stopped sending me one, or have dropped out of my life so I stopped sending them one. It can get very awkward, whether to send one or not. Sort of a poor man’s Facebook, where somebody you hardly know wants to be your friend, but you don’t really want to be, and you don’t know how to tell them without hurting their feelings.

I came up with a rule. I would only send a Christmas card to those who send me one. Let’s face it, some people just don’t send them, and it’s nothing personal. (I hope — maybe they’re trying to tell me something, and I’m not listening?)

I even used to send a Christmas newsletter, but decided not to this year. I mean, does anybody really care what’s happening with me? It sounds very pretentious — “we did this, and we did that, and we went on a Caribbean Cruise”– I don’t want to annoy the few friends I seem to have left.

I bought one of those cutesy Christmas journals, and started keeping track of who sent me a card and who didn’t. I looked at it this year, and realized my Christmas card list is down to 16 people.

I don’t know whether to be relieved or alarmed. I have a close knit group of family and friends, but they’re mostly in the city where I live, and I usually see them at Christmas, so hand them a card in person, or a bottle of wine, so no card is really needed. The 16 people left on my list are friends or family that are out of town and still send me a card. Or they’re old aunts with Alzheimers who I feel badly for.

Do you send Christmas cards? Is it awkward, or do you have a solid list of people who send you cards back? Are you worried your social circle is getting smaller and smaller, like mine?

14 Responses to “Death of the Christmas Card”

  1. Stacy S. Jensen (@StacySJensen) December 14, 2011 at 3:13 am #

    Christmas cards continue to be a strong tradition in our home. For years, the annual Christmas letter was the way I kept up with my 7th grade pen pal in California. Now we are FB friends, but continue to exchange cards and Christmas notes (if not letters). With a toddler in the house, well, we have to send a photo card to spread the cheer. It seems the circle grows with young children.

    • nancyelizabethlauzon December 14, 2011 at 6:50 pm #

      You’re so right. When my kids were younger I had a larger circle of friends. The older the kids get the smaller it gets!

  2. Selena Robins Musings December 14, 2011 at 10:18 am #

    I still send out cards, it’s just that they are sitting here waiting to be mailed. So far, I’ve received two cards, whereas in other years we had tons of cards. Just like you, Nancy, not sure if that’s a good thing or not. I think a lot of people are sending out e-cards and with social networking, people will wish each other Merry Christmas via the internet.

    I like the tradition, but I admit, I still haven’t figured out what to do with all these cards. I’ve kept so many. I need to figure out a craft or something.

    • nancyelizabethlauzon December 14, 2011 at 6:53 pm #

      You can make placemats with them. Seriously. Cut out 6 circles from your Christmas cards, about 5″ in diameter, with similar themes or colors, and cover them on both sides with clear sticky Mac Tac. We did that in Brownies. They were very nice.

      Or you can toss them in your recycle bin. I guess it depends on how desperate you are to get rid of them, LOL!

      • Selena Robins Musings December 14, 2011 at 8:42 pm #

        LOL I’ll pass on the place mats, but it’s a good idea. How timely, I got your Christmas card today. I promise, I’m sending mine out soon. LOL

  3. the writ and the wrote December 15, 2011 at 12:09 pm #

    I’ve sent out 30+ cards every year since 2008. I get maybe 4-6 in return. I am going to keep a note this year and only send to those people next year. I spend a fortune in postage and it’s getting old, especially with postage increasing again next year. Plus, it makes me feel awful to only get a few cards in return. Perhaps next year, I’ll send out post holiday cards.

    • nancyelizabethlauzon December 15, 2011 at 12:44 pm #

      Yeah, it does get old after a while. Plus there are people who send e-cards. I’m not there yet!

  4. 4amWriter December 16, 2011 at 7:18 am #

    I still make Christmas cards the old-fashioned way. I take my own pics, get them developed at Target, trim them to size, glue them on cards that I personally decorate with scrapbooking materials like glitter, festive paper, stamps. I even handwrite the Christmas message and personally sign them!!

    I really think I am the only one in the world who doesn’t go to Shutterfly or someplace like that and have them done electronically.

    I actually do get a Christmas card for every one I send out, with maybe 5 exceptions. But you’re right, the exchange is nothing today like it was years ago.

    • nancyelizabethlauzon December 16, 2011 at 7:40 am #

      I love hand made cards, because it means so much thought and creativity has gone into them. But I guess I don’t have any creative, thoughtful friends, since I don’t receive any. Good for you, I’m sure they are very welcome!

  5. Lafemmeroar December 16, 2011 at 2:21 pm #

    I haven’t sent cards in years!!!! E cards … yeah! 🙂 Back in the day when I was super into crafting I used to make pop up birthday cards …

  6. Vlad December 17, 2011 at 9:35 am #

    I agree with your sentiment. To me sending Christmas cards for my generation (90’s Generation Y) is extinct. From my 300~ ‘friends’ on Facebook, the 40-50 cards I write to various people, I get rarely at least 1 return card. I am the only one I know that sends cards that is my age from the people I know, so I think it is definitely heading to the ‘death’ of the Christmas card more than people would think (or would want to think). This is because its been replaced as said above by E-Cards, Facebook, or a failure to bother with what many Gen Y’s consider more and more as an ‘old time’ tradition.

    • nancyelizabethlauzon December 17, 2011 at 9:47 am #

      So true. With social networking, you can connect very regularly with your social circle, making Christmas cards more obsolete than ever.

      Thanks for your comments!


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