Christmas Cards ~ A Remnant of the Past?

Christmas card by Louis Prang

Christmas card by Louis Prang (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

“A card in the mail was the equivalent of a gift from the sender….”  LizzieCracked from the blog, Running Naked With Scissors.

As of today, December 19, 2012, I have received seven Christmas cards, and I have sent seven. I miss waiting for the mail at Christmastime with the anticipation that I will receive what Lizzie calls “a gift from the sender”. Put in this perspective, I may just get my pen and Christmas cards out and “gift” a few more people with this little present of thoughtfulness.

It is too late to mail cards out but I can hand deliver some or put them in mailboxes and slip stealthily away, knowing this little gesture will bring a smile from someone remembered.

When did I get out of the habit of sending masses of Christmas cards, and receiving about the same number back? Did I get lazy? Maybe. Did I stop when I had kids? Yes, probably, but they should not be blamed for my lackadaisical attitude.

It is no longer all that inexpensive to send a card–in Canada I think a stamp is about .59 (I am not sure though, so what does that tell you?). It may be too late to totally revive the tradition this year, but I think I will start. I know how much I love getting  cards–I usually tape them to my front closet door in the shape of a Christmas tree. If I do not get enough cards this year to make a proper tree design I may just have to get into my stash of cards from days gone by. I think I have kept every card I have received in the last thirty years–they are tied together in separate bundles with the year they were received noted on the front with a Post-It.

So let this be my Christmas card to all of you. Though it was not addressed and stamped–my heartfelt wish is that you have a Merry Christmas or Happy Holiday or Merry Happy (as I like to call it ~ terminology all of my own).

So have you continued the tradition of sending Christmas cards or have you eschewed it for other forms of good wishes?

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69 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. We still send about 50 cards in the post but in the UK the price of a second class stamp has gone up to 50p. so we cut back on 22 this year and sent emails instead, but its not as nice as having cards to decorate your house with.

    • I know–I love to see the personality of the person who sent the card come through in their choice of cards–but it is becoming an expensive proposition

  2. I definitely send and receive less than I used to. It’s a shame but it ends up feeling like a chore writing out loads of cards – I always think that maybe next year I’ll have a go at doing some homemade cards with the kids; even though they’re 14 and 11 now, they still quite enjoy doing craft things, but I’m just never organised enough to actually do it!

    • I made cards one year and really enjoyed it, but it is labour intensive–I think it would be a great thing to do with your kids

  3. Sending very few cards this year, getting lazy I guess. But, I will send along this Christmas wish to you and your readers…..I wish you all good health, happiness and prosperity. Happy holidays 🙂

  4. I had slacked off for a few years sending Cards, but this year I sent out some and yes like you love getting them in return. i moved this summer so many will not have my new addy until they get my card. It’s ok if I don’t get any, I loved sending them (and yes, postage is high here in the US too)
    How cool you have saved your cards all those years..My Mom saved hers as well..Fun to look back through them.
    Happy Holidays from my home to yours!!!

    • Thanks so much for the holiday wishes–next year when everyone has your address you will get a bountiful supply

  5. I still send cards every year and hope that I get many in return because I love finding them in the mailbox :). It really brings out the Christmas spirit in me, and for some far away relatives it’s really the only time of year that we hear from each other. Now, if you had sent me your address I could have sent you a beautiful Christmas card along with your chocolates!! LOL Thank you for this virtual card, and I hope you and your family have the best Christmas yet!!

    • I have not yet figured out how to find your email address or you would have my address–I will ask my just home from college son if he can help me.
      Finding cards is your mailbox is such a treat!

  6. I did not send out cards. I have recieved less. I bought some but don’t feel like writing in them. I feel so Scrooge-ish

    • sometimes we just don’t feel like sending them–I think I was struck with that stick for a few years so I understand totally

      • I’m not being very nice 😦 and I am being lazy. Not a good combo

  7. This is the first year that I didnt get around to sending out cards and I felt bad last night when I opened a card from the partner of a recently deceased (much to young) cousin. Today I will go buy a card for him and drop it in the mail. And next year I will start it all up again. We were at the farm last night and enjoyed reading through all of the cards and letters that my in=laws received this year – some of them are hilarious. Like the one letter that says the 45 year old son does marimba and is “poor as a churchmouse, living on Vancouver Island, but seems to like it”. 🙂 Reverse bragging in the Christmas letters – a new Canadian tradition.

    • My editing skills took a dive too, today. Luckily, I’m used to looking like an idiot.

    • I like that — reverse bragging–sounds like a post topic.

      I think I will try to start the tradition up myself again too.

    • Reverse bragging!!! I love this -and secretly wish some friends of mine would switch to it 😉

  8. I don’t send Christmas cards anymore. I work out how many I would have sent, add on mail charges and donate that money to charity 🙂

    I do warn people in advance, but I still get the odd card sent to me.


  9. I get and send the few to my family and they reply. But I think today people exchange email addresses ran than home. I send wishes etc via emails and even Blogs an Facebook and maybe Twitter, It looks like this is the way.. it is a shame. Cards were so meaningful in the days of my youth…a dying tradition.. 😉 ps thanks fro the Tweet..

    • I have to admit–I do love my email
      You are welcome for the Tweet-love what you are providing

  10. I typically send cards every other year. Have done that for a long time – not sure why. Maybe to keep in touch, but not make myself so crazy busy every holiday season? We still get quite a few cards although less every year.

  11. I still send out cards, but no longer include a letter. We let our photo cards tell the story instead. The photo cards we receive are our favorites and adorn our fridge most of the year.

  12. I sent out a lot of cards this year. It has been about five years since I I bothered. I am now retired with my time plus we moved in 2012 and I thought some might not have our new address. Mostly I wrote because I had been in poor health since Feb 2011 and I wanted to let friends know we were all doing well and thriving in West Lake. I’m into old fashion traditions and it felt good handwriting the envelopes and notes inside.

  13. I do use stamps to pay bills still, but I always forget what the cost is since it changes all the time in the U.S.

  14. I give them out at work and people look at me like I am relic, but it is my way.

  15. I no longer send out many cards either, choosing instead to focus on charities. Merry Christmas to you and your family LouAnn.

  16. I identify completely with this post! For many years I was faithful. And then two years ago I had a difficult fall/winter, and that Christmas no cards went out. Last Christmas we were traveling, and this year I’ve been crazy busy…well, the reasons for not returning to my former habit are varied, but I can’t seem to get myself restarted. Maybe because I am actually in closer communication with the people I really stay connected with…via Facebook and email and blog comments…I still love the custom, but I’m not sure if/when I’ll buy another box of cards. Maybe next year…~ Sheila

  17. Merry Christmas to you. I send out about 75 cards every year and receive around the same number. I’ve kept the photo cards in albums over the years and it is fun to look back at how our friend’s kids have grown up. Nice that none of the adults get any older. The magic of Christmas.

    • yes, I like that we don’t get any older too–photo cards are such a good way to keep track

  18. I hate to see this Christmas tradition dying out. I sent about 40 cards this year along with our annual Christmas letter but have only received a handful in return. I’m sure the cost involved is one of the reasons that fewer and fewer people are sending cards. The cards themselves are costly and postage within Canada is actually 61 cents now. Sadly, I remember when a stamp was 5 cents!

  19. nominated you for an award lovely one! x x

  20. You might enjoy this:


  21. The stamps costs me more that the annual photocards & envelopes. But – I still send them out. This year I sent out over 50 (mostly family members). I don’t get many. Not everyone I send them to sends cards out for whatever reason. But – I do love when I get home from work & see one or two sitting in my mailbox 🙂

  22. Thanks for the virtual Christmas card, LouAnn. I used send out so many, but then over the years, I got fewer and fewer back, so I decided to send only to those I received from the previous Christmas. I never get more than 10 these days. I think cards are going out of fashion. People don’t have the time to sit down and actually write any more. 😦

    • I think that is true – maybe they are a remnant of the past –thanks for visiting

  23. I never did get into the habit of sending cards. I watched as my grandmother struggled over which boxes of cards to buy, who would receive which ones, and then there was the actual addressing of all the cards. She had such stacks that they were presorted at home by state to “make delivery faster” don’t know if it worked.

    I used to buy cards for the people I saw, then realized most were tossed shortly after the holidays and put the money into the gift itself.

    I used to enjoy getting a card in the mail, but then didn’t now what to do with them after the holidays. Today, I send and receive zero cards for Christmas. The only cards bought and given are for birthdays when my adult boys and I try to find the most humorous card, it’s like a contest although it seems to be easier for them with my “advancing age” 🙂

    • I remember it was a real exercise for my mom too–it was more important 40 and 50 years ago I guess.

      • The time that generation put into baking, sending cards (literally over one hundred) would send me into stress overload if I tried to be like them.

      • I am already there and I do not do what they used to.

      • 🙂

  24. I haven’t sent Christmas cards for years – but I still receive them and feel a little guilty 😦

    Let this be my Christmas card to you 🙂


  25. I still send Christmas cards because sometimes it is the only contact that I have with some throughout the year..although I send to the ones I do also…It is one tradition I like to keep…although my children do not do so….I guess the tradition will not go on…..Diane

  26. I have to admit, unless I can actually give the card in person, I don’t bother with mailing them (do you pay the same amount of postage on a card envelope as a normal envelope??). But I definitely do keep any and all cards I receive, which are all stashed inside a nice box back home. If only postage weren’t so expensive, I might actually send some cards home to my family….

  27. I think that we sent 43 cards–but we seem to be receiving fewer than in the past.

  28. I hardly get any, or send any, and it’s sad, I wish we sent card so they would line the mantel and every surface.

  29. I’ve been cutting way back too, and then I feel guilty when I get one from someone I neglected to include.

    • I am sure they are not keeping track to the point where they will not speak to you – ha ha

  30. We sent out about 50 cards and have received 9, which is fine. I know not everyone sends Christmas cards and that it seems a little old-fashioned. But I think I may start filtering my CHristmas card list a little more in the coming years and take off the people who think it’s enough to just send greetings via facebook. (It’s not.)

  31. I usually send Christmas cards and write in them, no pre-printed messages. This year, it didn’t happen, too much crap going on and I had to avoid giving myself a nervous breakdown. Next year I will be back on it and I will send you one!

  32. I send about 50 cards and will get about that many back. I have cut back quite a bit since I no longer send to those who do not send a card back. We have a stack of unopen Christmas cards that Greg and I are waiting to open together.

    • I like that you open them together–a nice tradition in itself

      • We just started to open them together this year and I think we will continue to do that. It makes us slow down and really enjoy the card and the people who took the time to write and send us a card! Plus a little more quality time for me and the hubby. 🙂

      • an excellent idea

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