Last week during Mondoo’s Mailbag, I received the following question from Ganky:
” Are you tired of sending christmas cards? are you tired of waiting to see if joe blow will send you one first this year or wait until he receives yours? why do we send cards to people that we NEVER talk to but feel obligated to acknowledge at Christmas????”
Well, Ganky’s question got me thinking a lot about Christmas cards and in trying to craft a response, I found that there is a lot that I both love and hate about Christmas cards. Thus, this week’s holiday edition of Love/Hate.
1) They’re adorable. Have you seen Christmas cards lately? They are adorable! No matter your style, there is a Christmas card out there to suit your needs: handcrafted, moderately funny, and straight from West Virginia.
2) That Christmas feeling. From choosing the perfect Christmas card, to writing them, to sending them, to receiving them, nothing puts me in the Christmas spirit like Christmas cards. Well, except for maybe Christmas decorations, cookies, carols, movies… but cards help, too!
3) Writing them. I love to-do lists and completing a task. I’m so type A. I decide who is lucky enough to get a card from me this year, I write them out, and one by one cross the recipients off of my list. I place on the stamps and return labels and drop them in the mailbox. AH! What a sense of accomplishment!
While we’re on the topic of my Christmas card recipient list, I have to address part 3 of Ganky’s question: “Why do we send cards to people that we NEVER talk to but feel obligated to acknowledge at Christmas????” I dunno, Ganky, why do you? What is obligating you to send cards to people who you don’t even talk to? That seems like a waste of time and money. You see, my approach to the recipient list is to include the following: close family and friends who I talk to regularly or wish I had time to keep up with on a more regular basis. I don’t waste my time with long-lost friends who are better off lost or those random family members who I see once every couple years at a wedding or funeral. And above all, I do not send cards to people who can’t be bothered to send them back, even those who at one time found themselves on the recipient list. If you don’t return the Christmas card sentiment, you’re off the list for next year. Plain and simple. No sense of obligation. You’re dead to me. In the Christmas card realm anyway.
4) Receiving them. I’ll tell ya something, December is a magical time to open the mailbox. The only thing that pleases me more than writing Christmas cards is receiving them. I love to see who was lovely enough to send a Christmas card. I love admiring the beautiful cards and reading the inscriptions inside. And, I don’t know about you, but besides my birthday, I never receive so much enjoyable snail mail. In a world in which we communicate mainly through cell phones and the internets, nothing makes you feel more special than a real, honest-to-god card or letter that you can hold in your hand. Magical.
1) Lazy signatures. You took all the time to buy Christmas cards, address them, and drop them in the mail and all you could do was sign your name? LA-ZY! What’s the point then? You know what that says to me? You like me enough to send a Christmas card but not enough to write anything meaningful inside. Do yourself a favor and save your 44 cents next year. I don’t want one of your lazy cards.
2) Christmas letters. The only thing that’s worse than a lazy signature is a vain Christmas letter. How self-absorbed are you that you have to send a five-page letter detailing your year and its activities to all of your family and friends? If you do a good job of keeping up with these family and friends who you love so dear, then you wouldn’t need to bore them with this annual letter. Do you know what people do with your letters? They mockingly read them aloud to anyone and everyone who will listen. Everyone gets a good laugh at your expense.
3) Christmas photo cards. These types of Christmas greetings are really in vogue. I get it, they’re really easy; you upload a photo, type in your greeting and name, print and send. But honestly, what am I supposed to do with a picture of your pets or you and your fiancé? Even if you send me an adorable picture of your baby or your precious family, how can I properly display it when it’s printed among Christmas decorations and your signature? Furthermore, when you send cards like this, you make it impossible for me to recycle your card for a good cause, Ebenezer.
4) Not receiving them. If you carefully read Love #3, you already know that I do not tolerate those who do not return my Christmas card greeting. You know what I tolerate even less? People who don’t even send Christmas cards. You Grinches! Why are your hearts so black and hard? Why do you hate Christmas and your family and friends? I don’t believe that your life is so busy that you can’t take one evening and write out Christmas cards to the ones that you love and moderately like. Try it next year. It’s fun.