“They Use to Call It Mail”

To do Christmas Cards, or not to do Christmas Cards, that is the question…

My grandmother and great grandmothers had the most beautiful penmanship. My handwriting pretty much sucks. Like chicken scratch. I know that we all agree that writing letters or cards is a dying art along with the hand written thank you. Kids and people just don’t write or correspond via US postal service. But they do text or email.

Case in part: The Christmas Card

Each year I get a fewer and fewer. I am honestly on the fence. I send out cards each year and I find great joy in opening letters/cards and seeing pictures and learning about some of our closest friend’s/family’s yearly joys. Do I keep sending out cards or do I don’t? Or do I continue to send them and/or only send them to people who send them to me?

Some people take care and time in getting family pictures, designing the cards, writing messages on the back, etc. I am just happy if I can navigate one of the photo card websites (no matter which one, they make the process of ordering a Christmas photo card equal to that of brain surgery.) Nine times out of ten, the website freezes, kicks me out, or loses my card design. Which then takes another 15 minutes to locate.

Then I will realize that the perfect family photo can only be used in vertical card, not a horizontal and so on. Back to the drawing board.
As a kid, I loved getting mail (now it is mostly bills). My kids rarely get mail and obviously don’t have that much excitement in regards to getting letters and cards. My grandma would send all the grandkids birthday cards with sticks of gum for their birthday. I grew-up just 1 mile from her, but she always sent that card each year. I loved getting it in the mail and knew that there was gum in it due to the mint smell of the envelope. She made me feel special.

Snowy Tree Farm Truck

Cards and letters are sent out of care and love. You take the time to locate one or buy one, some people are great at picking out the perfect card, while I am not. Then to sit down, and write something meaningful and supportive in the card. Then locate or look up the address, purchase stamps, then get to the mailbox or to the post office. But I will be honest, getting a card (for me) does make me feel special, more than that of a kind email or private message on Facebook.

As an adult, I am not the best at getting cards and getting them into the mail in a timely fashion. Yet, I nostalgically love the idea of getting cards/letters. In the movie The Shop Around the Corner, the grandfather reminds his grandson that “they use to call it mail” and the pop up line that reoccurs via email/messaging in the movie is “you’ve got mail” which even in a technological way, instead of physical letter, still made the actors happy to correspond with each other (not knowing who they were really corresponding with). Some people get just as excited about an email from a long lost friend as they do for a card/letter. It is a human connection.

I have saved some of my great-grandmothers and grandmothers cards/letters so I can see their handwriting and remember their kind words. I don’t save emails. My kids will have no connection to people due to their writings or letters/cards. That makes me sad.

So, I will suck it up on the Christmas cards and mentally prepare myself to spend about 6 hours of frustration on creating one. Wine does help with this process. I do truly believe that the extra effort shows others that you care and are wishing them well. If you choose not to send cards or holiday cards, good for you, and if you don’t send one back to me, no worries. Just know that we are wishing you wellness and happiness. I know that you can tell me that to my face or in an email as well.

For those of you who rock the holiday card and cards in general, keep up the good work! Written correspondence is your jam, awesome and I am envious. What I will do is make it a goal for 2019, to do better at sending cards out in a timely manner and slow down on my hand writing to make the letters/cards more meaningful. Maybe I should find a pen-pal.

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