I actually have a mini crisis every year about whether or not I will send out Christmas cards or not. I got it in my head that once you’re married, it’s an expectation. People expect to hear about the life changes in the newlyweds, particularly special announcements. Or maybe it’s part of nesting rituals for new wives that impress themselves for life. Either way, I still love receiving this special mail every year. I think it’s a beautiful tradition and a great way of keeping in touch. It’s also a great opportunity for sharing news and announcements like growing families or engagements and save-the-dates in a special, more personal way. I especially love the handwritten ones.
But…what type of card do we send out? There are so many options: the quick & easy photo ones, the Christmas letters, and the handwritten note. I don’t know why I bother agonizing over it. I always know I’m going to end up handwriting them, and once I sit down to do it, I always thoroughly enjoy the process and thinking about the person or family I’m addressing them to. Memories like the last time I was with them or a particular joyous event in their lives always come to mind. Handwritten ones definitely take more time, especially because I send out letter-length cards. Of course this realization sets in the week before Christmas and I end up sending out Epiphany cards 🙂 That’s ok- it’ still Christmas time.
The list has gotten smaller for me in the last 3 years. I keep it simple. For example, thanks to facebook, we keep in touch very well with most of our friends and family, so naturally, I don’t send one out to every single one. If we do the photo cards in the future, (maybe when we have babies to show off, haha) then we probably will send them to everyone we’re related or close to. This year we did handwritten ones to Tommy’s grandparents and a few other people, and a PDF Christmas letter for our Spanish-speaking relatives in Argentina and France. Since we don’t see the ones in different countries, and usually just the cousins are on facebook, we used the letter via e-mail as a way to update them on all the big changes from this crazy year. Actually, I got the idea to do this from my friend Cristin. I really enjoyed her letter- I hadn’t kept in touch with her so well and was able to read and “see” what all she and her family had been up to. It was so tastefully done. This saved us on so much time (it would have been hard to fit everything in a card, not to mention how expensive the postage would have been including pictures which I really wanted to do- especially for the grandparents!). Another bonus is that since mail to Argentina takes forever, they will arrive timely. Don’t worry. Our letter was nothing like those “look how awesome and talented we all are and how many vacations and trips we’ve gone on” letters.
I think it was a good compromise for this year. What are your thoughts or tips on Christmas cards?