Christmas cards – yay or nay?
I was skimming through Facebook earlier today when a discussion on Christmas cards caught my attention, and it got me thinking, in this day and age is there still a place for Christmas cards? How many people actually still send physical paper Christmas cards?
So the gist of the discussion was this: on the one hand, a lovely lady I know was saying she loves writing personal messages, in fountain pen, on the Christmas cards she sends out; on the other hand another lady said she preferred e-cards as they saved time, the environment and could be really nice too. A third person said she’d given up on Christmas cards and so donated the money she used to spend on them to a charity.
What is your take on this? Is it bah humbug to abandon traditional Christmas cards? Is an e-card an acceptable substitute? Do you give money to charity instead of spending it on cards?
I have to say that I gave up on Christmas cards a loooonnnngg time ago, way before e-cards came on the scene. As some of you know, I moved to France in 1998 when I was 22, well the first year I religiously (no pun intended!) brought a whole load of Christmas cards back from the UK, which I then wrote and posted back to the UK. My French boyfriend at the time thought I was absolutely crazy; I had just graduated, so was still in a student frame of mind, and had never really got into a Christmas card sending mentality, so I just thought it was easier to abandon it, and I’ve never looked back since. I just don’t get the whole Christmas card hype, but that’s maybe 12 years of living in France that’s done that for me.
For my French readers who may be wondering what the big deal is – writing Christmas cards is major in the UK, there is even an expression “to cross someone off your Christmas card list” if someone has upset you and you no longer consider them to be a friend! For my readers in the UK who are wondering what the French do – some people send cards to wish friends, family and corporate contacts “Bonne Année” (happy new year), but in general, and certainly for my generation, the French don’t really have any equivalent of sending Christmas cards these days (Hubs’ parents’ and grandparents’ generations used to send happy new year cards).
So where do I stand on this argument?
Charity – seeing as I don’t send Christmas cards, if you prefer to spend your money on a charity instead of a card and a stamp for me, by all means, go for it!
e-cards – I have only seen one Christmas e-card that I liked which was photos of my sister, brother-in-law and nephew on elves heads (or something festive like that), bopping around a Christmas-decorated house to music, which made me laugh. Most other e-cards I’ve seen have been nothing special.
Traditional Christmas cards – I love getting a Christmas card with a personal message or even a sum-up letter of the year, however I don’t “get” people sending Christmas cards out that say “To XYZ, Merry Christmas, Love XYZ” and nothing more, especially when they are from people I haven’t heard from since Christmas the previous year. I just wonder what the point is….maybe I’m missing something? So if you enjoy sending Christmas cards, go for it! But if you’re fulfilling a chore and are just changing who is in the “to” box each time, is it worth it?
On a final note – if you don’t get a Christmas card, an e-card or a message about a charitable contribution from me, don’t take it personally, as nobody gets this from me. However you may well get an email round-up of what’s happening with our family, as Christmas seems to be a good time to sum up the past year and share our news.
Whatever you choose to do, enjoy it and Merry Christmas one and all!
I’ve adopted a number of those practices. I’ve struck off my list all those I can’t be bothered writing a special note to. To friends and family I send a paper Xmas card and I include a one page A4 sheet covered in family photos for those who aren’t on FB. I send an email to business contacts. It includes a fancy Best Wishes for 2014 image and a personal note. And I send an SMS on Jan 1 to my French tennis and rando friends.
That sounds like a pretty good compromise 🙂
Interesting topic. I used to send cards religiously when I was in the UK. My parents send cards to family and friends who are on the list whether they’ve seen them in years or not! But they send e-cards to a lot of people in their social circles now too.
This year for me I’m sending personalised ecards; ones with photos of me & the friend/family member on, or something like that, I think it’s a bit more personal than the generic cards.
I like the idea of the personalised ecards, but I just never got into the habit of doing xmas cards, so I think I’m going to keep steering clear 😉