Monday, November 16, 2015

Are Christmas cards a dying tradition?


This past weekend, I designed and printed my Christmas cards. (No, I'm not an overachiever, it took me a half-hour. It was less time than going online at Costco Photo, ordering cards, and driving to pick them up). I absolutely love the tradition of Christmas cards! Seeing the mailbox flooded with holiday greetings of old friends, watching their babies grow up; even sitting down and addressing them has always been enjoyable for me.

As I sat this year, counting how many I would need I thought to myself “hmm...last year we got less than half the number that we sent out”. (I keep a list of who I send to and if we receive from them, yes. Its mostly to make sure I don't forget/offend Great Aunt Josephine who only sends them the week after Christmas because cards are discounted by then). The more I thought about it, I realized this has been slowing declining over the last few years. 

Then it hit me...is this a dying tradition? Or is it just a product of this time in my life? Many, but not all, of the families who don't send us cards fall into 3 groups: 1) parents with very young kids (under 4 years old) 2) the younger generation of friends (under 28) or 3) friends who have succumbed to electronic communication only. The first, I can see how some years it gets forgotten. The second, maybe they don't understand it's nice to do. It's not taught the same as it once was, so I'll give them that. The third, well, um...I don't get it. Written communication is still the best, in my opinion. But I'll write about that another day.

I see holiday greetings on Facebook, often get a group text message, even an e-card from some people. Is it the cost of postage, the economy, and the increased use of Facebook that leads more and more people refusal to do cards? Is it the expense or the hassle of choosing a photo? Do people just not feel the need to reciprocate the greeting?

What do you think? Do you send cards? Do you love or hate receiving them?



23 comments:

  1. I enjoy getting Christmas cards in the mail just as much as I like sending them. I don't think it's a dying tradition (or at least I'd like to think that). I order the same amount of cards every year regardless of how many cards we receive. We like to send them to family members and our friends who are involved in our lives -- near and far. I think some people may get too busy and don't think about it early enough, and for some I think they feel like they need to have a fancy photo taken to slap on their card. For those that do send them, I think it's nice to have that kind of communication amongst one another that doesn't involve social media...just plain snail mail!

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  2. I agree, taking away social media and using the postal system is traditional. It also shows that the person sending the card took the time to send them! I hope sending cards stays around for the long haul, so our children grow up with the same enthusiasm!!

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  3. Hchristmas cards are my favorite tradition. I will always send them. I am getting a lot of Pinterest inspired photos cards from the young families.,

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  4. I have friends all over the world, so I always make a point to send them out! They're fun to get and really inexpensive!

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  5. I haven't sent cards in forever, but only because I'm disorganized. Ha! I love receiving them! But it definitely seems like we receive less and less cards every year. -Julie@MomFabulous.com

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  6. I love Christmas cards and they are a huge part of the holiday season for me! I find the people I don't get them from are mostly single friends. Couples and families are much better about it. I love getting mail around Christmas and displaying all of the cards!

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  7. I think it does seem to be dying out, but I'd really like to get back into the habit of sending and receiving them.

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  8. I'm planning on sending cards this year for the first time, I'm pretty excited!!

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  9. Great post! I'll say this I think it is a nice tradition but I think because there are so many other ways to share greetings it isnt as popular as it used to be. I'm the marketing director at a commercial real estate company and this is the 3rd year I've had yo make sure we get over 300 cards out and the past 2 years have only seen a return if maybe 100. The biggest reasons I are for this decline are: cost even if you make your own cards stamps are pretty pricy.

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  10. I think they are dying out... But I still love getting them! :-)

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  11. I hope it's not dying out! I love Christmas cards, both sending and receiving them! I actually just ordered mine last night :)

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  12. I love getting Christmas cards in the mail, I love the whole process of picking cards out and writing sweet messages of holiday greetings even more but I absolutely hate sending them out. I never have stamps on me, my post office is always so hard to get into, there's never any parking and I always manage to go during the worker's lunch hour. I've got a lot to say on the matter but I still manage to get the job done so I don't understand why some people don't do it anymore. My family and I receive less and less cards each year so I would love to see this little holiday tradition brought back to life. xx Merisa | Monogrammed Magnolias

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  13. I LOVE sending and receiving holiday cards! I really hope it gets its popularity back!

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  14. I love getting and sending Christmas cards. a handful of us still do it and I think they make the season more special

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  15. I love Christmas cards too, sending and receiving.

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  16. I haven't sent Christmas cards in years, and I see less and less from other people. It's kind of sad. It's the same with writing letters in general - less and less because we email.

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  17. I still send them! It's a fun way for me to update our extended family & friends on how our family is doing, even if it just through a single picture or collage. I have a list of addresses saved that I just update every year, then print out labels for ease in mailing.

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  18. I sure hope it isn't a dying tradition, because I LOVE sending AND receiving Christmas cards. It's like receiving a gift in your mailbox daily. Who wouldn't love that??

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  19. I think it is a dying tradition. Then at the same time we move every three years so I'm sure people just don't ever get our new address! Even if I don't get a card from Aunt so and so, I will continue to send them one.

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  20. I'm in the minority here, apparently, but I don't even like receiving them. Now, a real letter? That's a blast!

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  21. Love this post, Ashleigh! I am of the senior generation and I see this trend as well. I love sending and receiving cards. I make a note of every friend's birthday and anniversary and make sure to send a card. I sometimes hear I am the only one who sent them one. Then at Christmas I love the tradition and still keep it up. One of my favorite memories was my mother's tradition around this. Later Thanksgiving afternoon, she would set up a card table in the living room and I would be allowed to start looking up and addressing envelopes while she signed our Christmas cards. Funny.....I still recall some of those relatives' addresses even though it is many years later and they are home with the Lord. I am definitely a card sender!! (I also love receiving them and electronic ones aren't the same for me!)
    Blessings,
    Pam

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  22. I don't send them, I just can't stomach the cost when there are so many other things in my life that need financial attention :( I wish it were different because I do enjoy receiving them! Thanks for sharing at the (mis)Adventures Mondays Blog Hop. I look forward to seeing what you share this week!

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  23. I love the idea of Christmas cards and I love receiving them. But I have to confess that I get worse and worse about sending them every year!

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