I’ve spent considerable time this morning making our Christmas cards. I’m not physically making them but digitally constructing them on Shutterfly. No, this is not an advertisement for Shutterfly. I use their site because I am used to it. Each year, in March, I make family calendars through their software. And, I occasionally order a gift or wall art from them as well. In general, I’m pleased with their product but they are expensive.
I noticed the cost again this morning. And, I had to wonder if it was worth it to have a card made at all. Each year, for the past decade, the number of cards our family receives has dwindled. It’s to the point that I send out more than we receive. And, to give that statement some substance, I only order 25 cards or less each year. Sometimes, they don’t even all get used. But, I found that 20 cards were not enough. I always came up short, so ordering 25 gives me a cushion.
So, why do I still send Christmas Cards? In part, I think it is because we live far away from all of our family and some of our closest friends. It is nice to receive their holiday cards, so I want to return the gesture, in hopes it is also appreciated. I also think I do it out of tradition. As I wrote yesterday, we do not have many family traditions, but maybe we actually have more than I thought! I do know that we have fewer traditions than we did when we lived in Buffalo, New York – more than 22 years ago. We’d host Christmas Eve for both sides of the family, and go to church – which happened to be at the end of our street in Eggertsville. I have fond memories of walking to church for the midnight service at St. Pauls. By creating and sending Christmas cards I feel like I am keeping one small tradition alive.
As we head into the holiday season, I am aware of what traditions we keep and those that we’ve let go due to practicality or impossibility. For now, sending Christmas cards seems both a practical and a possible thing to do to let friends and family know we’re thinking of them from far away.
Do you still send cards at holiday time? Why or why not? I’d love to read your comments!