Holiday Cards Worth Having


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I love Christmas.  I love the lights, the trees, the music, the food—I love it all.  If I ever have children and have to brave toy stores in December I’m sure my infatuation will begin to diminish, but for now I will remain blissfully ecstatic when Costco starts stocking decorations.  In June.

One thing I have never really embraced, though, are Holiday cards.  Each year we receive a dozen or so, and while a few still sit on my bookshelf, 11 months later, having made it through my many clutter purges, others are merely glanced at before being thrown in to the recycling bin.  But this year I have decided to give them a try.  I got all excited a few months ago and bought a box of cards, which my husband is now insisting I actually send out, so I’ve been thinking about those cards I keep and the ones I don’t and trying to figure out how to keep my inaugural Seasons Greetings from getting immediately tossed. Here’s what I’ve come up with:

  1.  Have a baby.  I’m pretty sure it’s a sin to throw away a picture of a baby, so if you don’t have your own baby to dress as an elf, borrow one, take a picture, make a card, and send it out.
  2. Don’t be a real estate agent.  Or a dentist.  Each year my agent and my dentist send me a super generic card.  You know the type, “Seasons Greetings from Teeth and Townhomes.”  So when my friends send the same sort of thing I don’t know if the sender is actually my friend or simply trying to remain in the forefront of my mind to later sell me a product, and then because I am distracted by the musical Christmas lights flashing outside of my window I cannot properly distinguish one from the other, and in my anguish the card gets dropped in the garbage.
  3. Save your memoirs for your publisher. My brother-in-law (who hopefully does not read this blog) never fails to send out a Christmas letter outlining his life for the past year.  We live in the same city.  We see each other at least once a month.  There is nothing in that letter that I don’t already know about.  You can guess how long that is kept on the shelf…
  4. Focus on the recipient.  When my friends around the world send a few lines about how much they miss me, or how much our friendship means to them, it fills me with warm fuzzies rivaled only by the copious amounts of eggnog and rum that I’ll drink in the next month.   These are the cards that I cherish and keep.   

Whether you’re observing the birth of a baby, a candlelight miracle, or the changing of the season, use this time to remember those you love.  Host a party, make a phone call, or send a card; just be sure to let people know they are in your heart.

What are your thoughts?  Do you love those 5 page Holiday Letters?  Is there anything you would add to my list?  Leave a comment below!