Skip to comments.Is the Christmas card dead?
Posted on 12/23/2012 7:40:12 AM PST by JoeProBono
Every year around the holidays, countless Americans sit down at their dining room tables to thoughtfully scribble pen-and-paper updates about how they are and what they've been doing with their lives to a select number of friends. These messages are usually written on the back of a recent family photograph (sometimes with Santa hats), before they're sealed, stamped, and mailed around the country, where they're displayed like a trophy over someone else's fireplace.
Could that all be changing? This year, especially, there seems to be a dearth of dead-tree holiday cheer filling up mailboxes across the country. In a recent column for TIME, author Nina Burleigh says the spirit once distilled inside the Christmas card is dying, and a familiar, if fairly obvious perpetrator killed it: The internet. "There's little point to writing a Christmas update now, with boasts about grades and athletic prowess, hospitalizations and holidays, and the dog's mishaps, when we have already posted these events and so much more of our minutiae all year long," she writes. "The urge to share has already been well sated."
[Now] we already have real-time windows into the lives of people thousands of miles away. We already know exactly how they've fared in the past year, much more than could possibly be conveyed by any single Christmas card. If a child or grandchild has been born to a former colleague or high school chum living across the continent, not only did I see it within hours on Shutterfly or Instagram or Facebook, I might have seen him or her take his or her first steps on YouTube. If a job was gotten or lost, a marriage made or ended, we have already witnessed the woe and joy of it on Facebook, email and Twitter.
Burleigh says the demise of the Christmas card is deeply saddening. "It portends the end of the U.S. Postal Service," she writes. "It signals the day is near when writing on paper is non-existent." It's true, says Tony Seifart at Memeburn "my mantel is empty this year. In fact I haven't received one Christmas card yet.".......
I have received 4 and sent none. Two were from contractors that I had paid to have stuff done. One from next door and one from another mom at my kid’s school.
Who (we shall remember) most famously (in public print, no less) offered Bill Clinton oral sex for "keeping abortion legal."
So much for journalistic credibility.
We only sent out about 70 cards this year - down from 100+ in previous. It’s getting expensive and seems wasteful to broadcast cards to everyone we know, most of whom we haven’t seen/heard from for years and only think of when it’s time to send out cards based on last years list.
USPS postage rates are killing off the Christmas greeting cards. USPS is killing the Goose which lays the goldeen egggs for the USPS.
I got quite a few this year. However, in past years, I could practically wallpaper a room with the Christmas cards received, so yeah...fewer all the time.
Especially when it’s much easier to just post it via Facebook to all of your friends.
Oh yeah, that reminds me, I did get one electronic card from a lady at church.
Probably about half of the mail I send every year is Christmas cards, and even then I overbuy stamps. Next year's October tax payment will still have this year's Christmas stamps on them.
I will readily admit that I have always been terrible at sending Christmas cards. Not sure why... the time gets away from me. However, yes.. we received about four or five... I think the postage rates have decreased the amount. When you start adding up the cost of food, gifts, etc.. not much left for postage.
There is one type of card that has always annoyed me... the dreaded “my life is so great and better than yours” card. Maybe I’m the only one that gets those. A relative or neighbor writes about their year.. “John and I had a wonderful time in Bora Bora, the kids are all going to Ivy League schools, I decided I didn’t like last years carpet colors so I replaced the entire house with new carpet again, attending the Kennedy Center every Friday night is becoming boring, the new Lexus is wonderful...” I hate those...
The price of stamps have only risen to keep up with the rate of inflation.
A thing of the past like the buggy whip. And another nail in the coffin of the USPS.
Is it me? Or is that Christmas tree “bent”?
Hallmark give to the DNC. Why not?
Sounds like me too. I used to send about 25 or so and receive a similar number till this year. I sent the usual 25 and received about 5. Maybe they did not like the NRA cards? I don’t know, but I don’t view the Internet as the same thing as a hand written card, too impersonal for me. Next year I sense I will send about 10 cards and these go to distant family and a few friends I have little contact with during the year albeit we are long standing friends. (my definition of friend is someone I have known for over ten years and whom will not ask for what when I call them for bail at 3AM)...
Merry Christmas to all on Free Republic.
That tree angel can’t move away fast enough.
Would you rather get the opposite?
"It was another crappy year in the trailer. Two of the kids got knocked up and the car isn't reliable enough to visit Jesse upstate in prison. Joe's meth lab dissolved half the carpet so we have to be careful where we step."
I cut all the return addresses off the cards I get and tape them on a sheet of paper to I know who sent me one - and their correct address as of this year.
Reguardless of “others” family and extended family always get a card. I think total cards out is around 40 and cards in around thirty.
I tape the cards around the door going into the den where the tree is and any that don’t fit there goes by the fire place. New Years Eve they all go into the fire in the fire place - another year gone.
Tell me about it. I sent photo cards, which are square ,and require 20 cents more postage than a regular card. What really gets me is that these cards are smaller than the norm.
“Would you rather get the opposite?”
I think yes if it was the truth. The problem with the “my life is better than yours” letter is usually it is stretched. For example, we have a relative that sends those cards. What you don’t read is “John is having another affair with a coworker, Jesse was arrested on a DWI, and my Xanax prescription strength would knock an elephant out”. I appreciate “have a Merry Christmas” or “thinking of you”. So much better than lying/stretching the truth IMHO.
I think it is. The passing of an age for sure. I don’t send anymore. My family and friends and I send eCards and, quite honestly, they are beautiful and we really enjoy them. We also tend to send many more than just one.
I am surprised that I say this ... but I kind of like it.
I think that was the inside to the card on post 11.
The only cars I get are from people who want tips
“the dreaded my life is so great and better than yours card.”
Oh, man... I hate those letters. Our former neighbors are famous for that, and we won’t even open them any more. “Our daughter just discovered the cure for all cancers known to man. For his doctoral thesis, our youngest son composed a piano concerto that will push to the background Beethoven and Mozart and he has been declared God Of The Keyboard For All Eternity. Our other daughter is, single-handedly, providing drinking water to all of the Bedouin population. She carries it to them in Dixie cups and it’s a never-ending project. We’re so proud.”
I have two relatives-by-marriage who do this. They are parents and child, so it is the same news twice, from slightly different perspectives. The last time I responded to one, I received no further reply, so I simply figure they do this for themselves.
“... they do this for themselves”.
You hit on my sentiment about these type of cards exactly. I always thought to myself, “Who are you trying to convince? Us or yourself?” To be fair, my husband has a friend that sends out a parody of these type cards and you read it with tears rolling down your face. He’ll discuss the septic system backing up, the operation of his dog getting neutered, or updating us all on his enlarged prostate. It is the funniest card, written with such humor that you end up saying, “gee, our year is so much better”. (which is his point and gift, I guess).
I agree with you on that.
I have an ex-sister in law that used to do that every year, two page typed letter of their great year inside their card. Now she does a letter of all the bad stuff the Republicans have done, her son’s trials (he is in and out of prison) it is all negative, she also trashed my brother for about 10 years after they divorced. We find it really humorous, lightens up our day when it arrives. Liberals really become bitter as they age.
We must be distant kin, MayflowerMadam! You get those cards, too! I decided a long time ago that “image is everything” to some people. You know that no one’s life is that perfect...
They really do become bitter, don’t they? I’m glad she’s your EX- sister in law. Sad to think she used a Christmas card to blast your brother for a decade.
We make a PDF newsletter with a one page card, and shotgun it to our list...10 people left who are not on the web get a dead tree card.
We sent out around 40 cards, but I wanted to share with you one card/letter that came to us. It was from a family friend of my husband’s who he knew back before she got married. They met at the 88 Olympics (both Olympic athletes) got married and had 2 kids...great life, both loved Jesus Christ and raising their kids to love HIM as well. Well in July this year, the husband, son and son’s friend were killed as his small planed crashed just off the runway in Sedona. Now the wife, and daughter wrote this Christmas still praising God, still remembering this past year and yet by the end of the letter the tears were just flowing for the honesty, the pain, the love that flowed in this precious letter. Wow, praise God for the strength to send out such a letter and to help us know how to continue to pray as she said “your letters and prayers really do help”...May we never give up sending CHristmas Letters of real meaning to others.
I would ‘feel’ better if the young ladies did not have their fingers inside the trigger housing
The lad seems to have it right....
I know, Picky, picky, picky......
BUT that is the picture that you should place on the “My Neighbor HATES guns and is for gun control” sign...Really put the msg out
While the internet may be killing Christmas Cards (why pay for a stamp when e-mail is free?) I remember a time when the Christmas Card was a simple brief statement, not a journal of the year’s events. It was meant as just a cheery well-wish and not a summary of the year that some saw as “bragging” (i.e. MY daughter was an honor student this year and MY son was All-District. MY husband got a raise, blah blah blah...).
So the commiebabe is truly mourning the loss of a federal bureaucracy and the union (ie Democrat votes) stooges that come with it.
Somehow a Christmas email sent to a distribution list doesn’t have the same personal touch as a mailed card but I must admit it is an efficient way to distribute the all-important Christmas letter.
What an absolutely, beautiful letter. Yes... I hope we never give up sending Christmas letters of real meaning and the letter from the this family shows all of us what Christmas is about. I would keep that letter forever..
For the past several years Mr. Mercat has designed and sent his own, usually with a cute photo of our granddaughter. Last year it was a photo of my two older brothers at the ages of about 3 and 7 sledding in an old black and white photo. So glad he did because the younger one passed away this year. This year his mother is in her last few weeks and so caring for her has taken precedence over Christmas cards. His example did however, start our niece and nephew doing photo cards with their families and these are proudly displayed on our refrigerator. We get a few but not many. I don’t miss them.
This year, I built my cards around a 1909 Life Magaizine cover.
When I DON’T receive a Christmas Card or a Christmas e-mail, that is when I know my friend is dead. :-(
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