I don't send Christmas cards.
Does that surprise you?
Considering my lack of sentimentalism and holiday tradition, it shouldn't.
I used to send them.
As an eager newlywed, I sent them yearly, early and with a cheerful heart. It was the grown up thing to do. It wasn't a chore, but I would be lying if I didn't admit to feeling the slightest bit obligated to send them, especially to those who had previously sent one to us. Christmas card guilt of reciprocity?
However, with each passing year, I found myself sending fewer and fewer cards; now I've gotten to the point where I've pretty much phased them out, altogether. Partly because I'm lazy and don't have a huge list of friends, family or acquaintances and also because I don't think people really care that much about receiving one. That is, of course, unless that magical card arriving in the mail includes a picture. Or money.
I'll spare you my feelings on family pictures (the posed, picture studio type, not candid photos) as it's a silly, nit picky blob of thoughts, and most people don't share my viewpoint. It wouldn't be hard for anyone who reads this blog to figure out that I'm not a picture person, therefore it is highly unlikely that I would ever send one of those picture Christmas cards. You know, the happy family in coordinated clothing, underneath the illuminated tree. It's quaint, Norman Rockwellian and completely adorable, three things of which I am not. I like that other families do this; however I couldn't imagine there ever being a time in which I suggested Craig, Caroline and I wear matching snowflake sweaters and ham it up for the camera.
It just won't happen. I know me well enough to admit that.
Unless, of course, I was the recipient of an earth shattering lightning strike that somehow rewired my anti family photo brain.
And, it's also safe to say that I probably won't be sending anyone on my Christmas card list money. Well, if you gave birth to me or to my spouse or financed my orthodontia and taught me the finer points of ice hockey, money, in the form of a gift card slipped in with a Christmas card, is rather likely.
Otherwise, not so much.
I'm not a scrooge; I love Christmas; I just have come to the conclusion that Christmas cards aren't something that I care to devote a lot of time to. I keep some on hand for emergent situations in which a card is truly required, but do not spend hours upon hours on a cold December evening addressing cards to people who I haven't seen in several years and might not even remember me.
It's just not me.
As much as I respect the choices of others to send cards, I don't think there is anything wrong with my choice either. I'll happily encourage others as they conquer their lengthy mailing lists and stand in long lines at the Post Office to secure the ever important holiday stamps, but I certainly wouldn't be offended if other people quit sending them out, either.
Maybe I'll start a new movement. The "Save your stamps" movement or "Give the Post Man a Break" campaign.
While we're on the subject, Christmas cards serve a purpose greater than providing pictures, money and cheerful holiday greetings. They also, in fact, serve as a vehicle for the yearly Christmas letter.
Oh, you know what I'm talking about.
The "What I Did On My Summer Vacation" or the "My Husband Makes Beaucoup Money and Bought Me a Professionally Decorated 8,000 Square Foot House and a BMW" and my personal favorite the "My Kids Are Cuter And Smarter Than Your Kids" annual Christmas
I hate those things.
In fairness, I don't hate them ALL. No, really. I don't.
However, I am not all that fond of being reminded of how sucky my life is when everyone I know brags about how they vacationed in Europe, joined MENSA, bought a luxury home, adopted one of those ridiculous "hybrid" labradoodle dogs and enrolled their six year old in college courses.
I'm a snarky person, by
the grace of God nature and will probably be smited by God's wrath for finding such humor and snarkworthiness in these yearly literary offerings.
I can't help it. They make my sarcastic heart happy, fueling my snark tank for the long cold winter ahead.
In all honesty, we don't receive many of these letters; just one trusty annual offering from a friend of Craig.
I was just taking a moment to poke fun at the idea of them. It's what I do best. Did you ever see the episode of Everybody Loves Raymond where Debra and Marie made up a fake letter, exaggerating every detail, after becoming disgusted by the embellished letters they were receiving in the mail? It's a priceless episode; so very relatable.
Up until a few days ago, I hadn't put much thought into my opinion of the whole Christmas card thing. It was a twitter tweet from someone that sparked this post and led me to think about why I don't send cards anymore.Obviously this isn't life or death stuff.
Christmas cards are nice, but rather insignificant in the grand scheme of things. What does matter is that we remember what really means the most this season. Not Santa, stacks of cards, or fabulous parties. Not perfect family pictures, a tree full of presents or a car in the driveway wrapped in a big red bow.
Whether or not I choose to send or receive cards will not change the world.
But quite thankfully, the birth of a baby, the very baby we celebrate during this season, most definitely changed the world.
For that, we have reason to celebrate.
Well, let's not forget about Christmas cookies.... ;)