For years, Greg and I have spent a day over Thanksgiving weekend drafting one of those nice, long, juicy, news-filled letters about the year coming to an end. We even included pictures. Those were sent off for printing, hand-signed, folded and mailed to nearly 100 friends.
This year, we took stock of those who we exchange Christmas “cards” with and realized most are friends on social media and those letters are a repetitive recap of adventures and events they’ve already seen.
Between the Christmas paper, the printing, and the postage, we typically spent somewhere near $300 to mail out these tomes. This year we decided that money could be put to better use at any of a number of charities we support. A new one we discovered this year, The Military Assistance Mission, has received our Christmas card budget (and a sizeable addition) through a fundraising event and auction.
We’ve already begun to receive some cards in the mail and I admit I’m feeling a little twinge of regret at our decision. I truly love the annual tradition, but we’ve noticed fewer friends and family are participating every year. Last year we received just 32 cards from around the globe – a clear indication that the numbers are falling.
We’ve gone through our card recipients and will mail boxed cards with hand-written notes to those who are not social media members. That was an easy choice when we realized Greg’s aunt in Maine is not online in any form other than email. A nice long letter will undoubtedly be stuffed into a card with a couple and sent off this week.
I’m grateful for the friends who still send the cards. Who knows, this may be a one-year diversion from our tradition. After all, there is something joyous about opening the mailbox and seeing something that isn’t junk mail or a bill.
There’s a whole world out there just waiting to be explored. Do you still send Christmas cards?
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