christmas cards - making the cut

i am sitting here at work - 3 days after christmas - and i am frantically trying to get out my cards for this year. i tend to procrastinate getting them out every year...and that coupled with delays in shipping this year - well, here i sit....

but that is half the story. every year i tend to struggle with my christmas card list. when i first had kids i didn't think twice about it. i'd over order those cute photo cards and mail them to everyone i knew. one year i'd address them myself.......the next i'd use printed labels. then i'd sign our names on the card - the next i'd have that printed on too. it got to the point that i simply opened the box of cards - printed out a sheet of address labels - peeled off the free return address labels i get from wwf or other organizations looking for money....stick on a stamp - and viola...i could bang out the cards in less than 15 minutes....

very impersonal

and last year it really hit just how impersonal it was.....so i took a handful of cards and hand wrote a personal message to those friends we have not seen in a long time......and it felt good.

this year i struggled again. cost was one factor (w/hubby still without a job) and with facebook - i've seen everyone's kids...and they've seen mine. do they need a photo of them again? don't get me wrong - there are still so many friends we have that we don't see often and i LOVE seeing their photo cards. there are also friends that i have that even if they don't send a card back - it doesn't bother me at all and i enjoy sending them a warm holiday greeting......

then there are the others....family and friends who i know only send me a card once they get mine. being this late this year has made those people stand out loud and clear....and has got me re-evaluating the whole christmas card thing.......and honestly it hurts. ok - maybe not "hurts" but it definitely has me rethinking my relationships. in the age of facebook people are gathering friends left and right - 100, 200 or more! and out that many - how many are friends? don't get me wrong - i am one of them and my friend and i have had numerous discussions over this...but that isn't my point here (that is a whole other post!!!) my point is.......

i really miss the true meaning of christmas cards.
i still keep a written journal as well as my blog. i use a daily planner instead of an online calender. call me outdated - but i love putting pen to paper.

i can count on one hand how many cards i've received that any trace of handwriting anywhere on it - card or envelope.

i don't fault anyone for that at all. i understand the convenience of them. people are busy - have full time jobs - are running households - are raising kids...............i get it and that is fine...i still love receiving those cards - preprinted and all..

but i'm not comfortable with doing that anymore. this year my list is much shorter (made even shorter by the weeding out of people who i realize i am just sending them cards out of habit) and i am handwriting little messages and the addresses.......and while a small step towards putting meaning into the cards - its still not enough

but its late - the cards are paid for and i need them to get them out today......

but next year? things will be different. i want to make the cards. i will still include a photo in some of the ones that i think would want them. i will write a message in every one of them. i will put the true meaning back into them - for my sake - if not for anyone elses.

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