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December 16, 2010


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We have been sending an annual holiday letter for about 15 years. It is a joint project of Smokey and I and has always included lots of pictures with the text. Plus we try to make it entertaining and to include both the good and bad. We've missed a couple years here and there, and more than once the letters hit the mailbox after 12/25, but we keep trying. Our *list* seems to hover between 40 and 50 and always has. A few are people with whom this is the only contact we have all year, but heck, if they send us a card we return the favor. Like you, I cannot get excited about e-mailed Christmas greetings.

And now I should get started on the envelopes; Smokey has started the letter and will finish it at work this weekend...


Your thoughts about card-sending echo mine exactly! I just checked my back-stock yesterday, in fact, and I started writing my annual letter in my mind earlier in the week. This weekend. . . CARDS! A tradition I actually kind of like!


Long-winded response to: "To whom does one send these cards? And why?"
Well, I always sent them to far-away family members (uncle, aunt, grandparents) and far-away friends. I did not send one to anyone I visited over the holidays. My list was about 45 people. I think the "why" was because my mom (note: not dad!) did it when I was a kid so I signed the family card when I was young and started sending my own as part of grown-up life. I always wrote a personal sentence or two. I definitely liked the photo cards some people sent but never made one of my own.
When I moved in with my boyfriend, later husband, we sent them together and the list got bigger. I use the term "we" loosely; the job fell mostly to me. However, he had never sent them until he lived with me and saw that I did, then he wanted to join in, I guess.
I/we stopped sending cards 5 years ago. It started when I had a winter of health problems and no energy for the task. The two years after that, I remembered what a relief it was not to have that urgency of preparing 40-ish envelopes and cards with personal notes so I indulged in skipping it. Since then, I decided this is my new tradition. It works for me. I'd rather keep in touch throughout the year by initiating a phone call or sending a letter or email a couple of times. Honestly, though, not sending a holiday card got me cut from other people's "to send" list and this means I have lost touch with some people, and I do regret that. I did the spreadsheet thing, too, a long time ago in an effort to reduce my list a little and I am certain I was cut because others do the same. If you like receiving cards, you had better send them! I agree with you about the e-mailed cards: if I'm going to send one, it will go through the post. I do send one to each of my grandmothers because they really appreciate it.
Does everybody keep all the cards you get over the years? If so, how do you store them? If I were still getting 40-ish cards per year I wouldn't have room to keep them all. This summer I weeded out the ones that had just signatures and kept the holiday letters and personal notes from over the years.

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