I am currently finishing up the creation of this year’s holiday cards. Yes, I make my own; I have been doing that for about eight (??) years now. Last year’s card was spectacular in my head, but didn’t translate quite as well once I had the finished product in hand…and I’m okay with that. This year’s card is my favorite so far, and I guess that’s how it should be.

Seems like as good a time as any to reflect a bit about holiday cards.

1. I love this tradition, but it seems to be fading away. Over the past 8-10 years, less and less of the people in my address book are sending cards. (Maybe they just don’t like me anymore? Nah.) Whether it’s due to the financial aspect of it or the time aspect, less and less cards seem to be circulating. That makes me a little sad.

2. As I already stated above, I make my own cards. That does not mean that I expect everyone to make their own, however it does mean that I totally appreciate the work that goes into handmade cards and absolutely *love* to get them.

3. Just because I *love* to receive handmade cards doesn’t mean that I don’t appreciate store-bought ones. I love when others keep my family in their thoughts…and I love mail.

4. Many people today are taking a photo in to Walgreens and getting that one-sheet photo card that can just be stuck into an envelope and mailed without further work. I’m fine with that. I love photos, and I always keep the photos/photo cards I get. Someday I plan to put all of them into their own scrapbook…when I get some time. (Maybe in 2025? har har har!)

5. Some people have an aversion to holiday letters that fall out of the card when you open them. I am not one of those people. I love holiday letters. I *send* holiday letters each year…but ONLY to people who I am not generally in touch with during the year. Examples of the people who get my holiday letter: relatives we rarely see, high school friends, the parents of my old friends, and people who Jim and I have met in the different towns we have resided in but only correspond now at holiday time. I do not send a holiday letter to people I am in touch with on a regular basis; they already know what’s up with my family*. And here’s a secret: the holiday letter is as much for me and my family scrapbook as it is for anyone else: I do a paragraph about each boy, summarizing what they’ve been up to and what they’re “in to” this year. It’ll be fun to look at those in about twenty years.

6. My most major pet peeve about holiday cards? When I get an envelope from someone who I only exchange cards with in December and, other than that, have absolutely no contact with, ever, and I excitedly open it up to see what they’ve been up to…and there is just a signature. No handwritten note on the inside of the card, no holiday letter, no nothing. That drives me INSANE. In fact, call me names for this one, but three years of that in a row and I take them off my list. Why bother even sending the card with just a signature if we never ever see each other, we never ever talk, we don’t live near each other…? After three years I don’t know enough about you anymore to even know you! (Please tell me I’m not the only one who feels this way…)

So what do YOU think about holiday cards? There’s your topic…now discuss.

*Except for two consecutive years a while back; I altered my holiday letter so it was really twisted and funny (and full of exaggerations, lies, and such) and sent it to Kate. It’s fun: you should try it! (Just don’t send it to the wrong people!)