annual Christmas cards

annual Christmas cards

I have done Christmas cards and letters every year since 2004. I really enjoy it – I enjoy writing the letter and thinking about my friends and family as I address the envelopes and mail them. I also love getting them from friends. I love decorating my house with the cards, and I always put up pictures on my fridge and they stay up year-round (or at least until we move again ;-)).

I’m trying to decide what to do about Christmas cards this year. Last year was the first year I included a picture. We had pictures taken this year, and I have them designed and ready to go. I also have written the letter (though it needs major revising!). This year, though, I am torn. I am very tempted to save the time and money and email the letters to everyone. But at the same time, I am sad to stop a tradition that I have very much enjoyed.

I have thought through several compromises, and came up with one. I send the letter out via email to everyone. Then I send the picture only via snail mail to those who want it (and those who don’t have email). I really don’t mind sending out pictures to the people who like getting them. It’s more of avoiding sending them to the people who would just glance at it and throw it away.

What do you think? A good compromise? Or is it weird? Should I just do what I’ve done every year – mail letter & photo? In some ways I’m not sure I want to stop that tradition. I feel like email is so impersonal. (I was sad last year when I decided to print labels instead of handwriting all the addresses. It felt impersonal, but it seriously saved soooo much time.) I think the more I think through it, the more I like that option.

Really practical people are probably confused at my quandary. I guess it’s hard to explain the emotions I feel about it all!

5 thoughts on “annual Christmas cards

  1. I totally understand your predicament! Even writing my Christmas letter seemed like such a monumental task. I usually write bits and pieces throughout the year, but hadn’t gotten around to it. Phil reminded me that there are people who love receiving it, and look forward to it every year. *sigh* FINE! But I still wonder if I should e-mail many of them, and will probably hand-deliver the ones to family members who I’ll be seeing for the holidays anyway.

    I personally think it can get too expensive printing pictures AND writing out a letter AND sending cards… but I try to pick a few pictures to print with the letter (they aren’t in color and they aren’t on pretty photo paper, but it’s still a photo!).

    FYI – I still have your photo from last year on the my bulletin board! Which reminds me – I need your address!

  2. We actually had a few people email us the Christmas card scanned into the computer. I wasn’t offended. Like you said, the majority of people you send a Christmas picture to will keep it up for a while then either throw it away or throw it in a box somewhere. We just took pictures yesterday and the cards haven’t been designed yet, I’m not sure if we’ll mail them out to a ton of people or like you said, just send them to family and close friends that we know would care. We’ll probably send them out to more people than normal since it’s going to be the first picture of Josiah that a lot of people will see. lol.
    (BTW, i still have your card from last year, but it is in a photo box…)

  3. I’m old-fashioned regarding Christmas cards. I love receiving them, so I still send them. However, I’ve stopped including the annual letter. With both Facebook and my blog, the people who would want to know what’s going on in my life already have easy access to find out. Not writing that saves me time now.

    I think it’s perfectly reasonable to send photos to those who would like them, and just email the rest. Admittedly, I enjoy seeing people’s children, but I never keep the photos. If they’re not family (meaning, my nieces) I toss them after the the Christmas season is over. I know some people like to hang onto all that stuff, but I don’t really have a place to keep years’ worth of other people’s photos just for the sake of keeping them.

  4. I think that the desire to keep a more personal human contact is a beautiful thing and don’t think everything has to be digital just because it can be! We also still have your pic from last year on our fridge :-) I do think I’d email or b/w print photos for people who you’re pretty sure don’t keep them though. Plus, you help the guilt level of the people who don’t keep them and feel bad throwing them away.

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