In my first year of married life, I received about 50 or so Christmas cards from friends and family who wanted to send a card I presume to wish us and our new little family a happy holiday season. I threw my hands up and went ‘EEK!!!’ and figured I had better get some Christmas cards to send back to people seeing that they’d been thoughtful enough to send one to me.
After Christmas… every single one of those cards went straight in the bin – admittedly a recycling bin, but staight in bin nonetheless. And as I threw them away I thought “What a waste!” and I still think they are a waste. Time, money, envelopes, postage, paper, printing… all of it ultimately wasted. In my second year of married life, I received again about 50 odd Christmas cards – and I sent out NONE, choosing instead to email friends that had sent us well wishes to thank them for their card.
In my third year of married life there was noticably fewer cards…. fourth year – even fewer again… fifth year – even fewer again. I realized the fewer I sent out the fewer I received (thankfully)…. and it continued to dwindle until last year when I received barely three Christmas cards! What an achievement! I felt that my small part in not propagating the unnecessary ritual of exchanging expensive and resource hungry cards every year to be considerable indeed.
In an age when I keep in touch with friends and family around the country and also around the world via email, MSN and via their blogs – do Christmas cards really serve any real purpose anymore??? My Mum used to send them out every year. She had a list that she’d pull out every December of people ‘she HAD to send a card to’ and she always included inside a personalized handwritten letter telling everyone how the Cross Famliy had been that year. This quaint method of keeping touch once a year seems to have become redundant in the age of technology when we know quite a lot of what our friends have been up to – with alarming frequency judging by some people’s Facebook habits!!! 🙂
So year after year my attempt to minimize the Christmas cards has been ever so slowly gaining momentum. Over the weekend I was thinking that I might have pulled it off as the only Christmas card I had received this year was from Caloundra Suzuki wishing me and my family ‘A Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year of safe motoring in our new Suzuki!!!’ (I decided that promotional material of this nature doesn’t really count as a Christmas card so I was so far in the clear)…. and I thought “YES!! I’ve finally done it !!!”
I’ve been carefully watching the mail box, dreading the annual invasion of Christmas cards… and here we made it all the way to December 22nd with none to report…. But there’s this saying about counting your chickens and I have this afternoon found two chickens in my mailbox.
Bugger. Sigh… maybe next year will be the cardless Christmas I’m aiming for…