Christmas cards—yea or nay?
Christmas cards have never been part of my holiday regimen, not even in my Martha-Stewart-wannabe stage. I don’t make ’em, I don’t send ’em, and, predictably, I don’t get many.
I’m not even sure this is a tradition beyond the United States—for those of you in New Zealand, the Netherlands, Great Britain and other assorted locales—is the sending of cards, specifically for Christmas, a holiday practice?
There are so many variations on the theme of holiday cards and they seem to change and come in and out of fashion.
Plain cards, fancy cards, handmade cards.
Cards that include long missives about a family’s accomplishments and adventures for the year that is waning.
Cards that are little more than a photo of adorable families/children/pets dressed up in holiday finery.
I imagine Christmas card sending has dropped off in the Facebook era—we keep up with even far-flung friends so much more frequently and easily now that the holiday card may have become largely obsolete.
In spite of my disinterest in the whole “Holiday Greetings” endeavor, I love this little collection of Christmas postcards that were sent to my grandfather, “Master Willie Wright,” when he was a boy in the early 1920s. They come from as far as North Carolina and Niagara Falls to a little boy in Saranac.
I don’t know if all children received so many cards or if this was just something he loved especially. He wasn’t a sentimental man but these cards were kept and saved for his whole life.
They please me in their vintage look and style, the few words on the back done in that lovely old penmanship.
They are a collection of pretty snowy scenes, with lots of red and white and pine and poinsettias. The messages focus on happiness and good cheer, much as today’s cards do.
I am surprised, though, that they are not at all religious in tone—not one of them features a nativity scene or mentions the “reason for the season.”
I wonder if, in another 100 years, there will exist a collection of Christmas cards from the early 21st century. If we’ve traded the sending of cards for the evanescent greetings of social media, what gets tucked away and saved?
Where do Christmas cards fit in your holiday? Do you send them? Do you keep the ones you receive? Or is this all a thing of our past?