This should be a so called “no brainier” right? I mean, so many people have stopped sending them, right? It’s the GREEN thing to do? It’s politically correct? Its a time waster? It’s outdated? Uninspired? Expensive? Boring?
Yes….I have argued all those points and yet every year, after year I have carved out several hours to hand write, hand address and label about 75 to 100 holiday cards to family, friends, work colleagues, and more.
At one time, I made an event out of it. It was part of my holiday routine. Setting up my area, playing holiday music to “get me in the spirit of the season” and enjoying the process. As the years marched onward, it has truly become less fun and more of a chore. I don’t enjoy it anymore. Even the cards we receive have become less about sending us holiday wishes and more about people showing us where they have been all year….as though that’s a measure of their well wishes to us. Or sending snaps of kids we no longer know, recognize or have a connection to at all.
I can say all this with conviction because WE used to do the very SAME thing! That was until I went back to my holiday card roots and decided to no longer sends snaps of our vacations, son, house, decorations, cats, etc and go back to the tried and true, old-fashioned way of writing out the cards by hand with intention and care. You see the simple act of hand signing a card had become a thing of the past, replaced by pre-printed cards, pre printed return address labels or worse still, the dreaded preprinted address label that says to me “I have too little time, and too many people to send a card to and can’t be bothered with writing them out.” Ugh! Also, in the past 3 years or more the number of cards we receive back has dwindled lower and lower as more people have opted out of sending holiday greeting cards. I was a hold out but no more!
This is my year to say “done!” You see, I don’t enjoy it. It’s no longer fun. My back aches, my hand hurts and I am not even listening to music when I write them, but looking at the clock for it to all be over….or worse yet, procrastinate about it till it really was a chore and a bother.
Plus, let’s be perfectly honest here, over the years I have made sweeping changes to my social media life. I stopped using Facebook and more recently deleted Instagram. So, it only stands to reason that holiday cards would be that next big social step! Sure, there will be some people who will wonder where our card is this year. There will be those who will stop sending us one as they receive no card in return. There will be those who will be offended. Or assume it has some nefarious meaning when no card arrives from us. But despite that all, I am going to stand firm in my resolve to end what has become an unpleasant activity.
Holiday traditions can be so heart warming, but when they feel restrictive, inauthentic or lose their spontaneity and sense of fun, its time to end them.
I will however take this opportunity now to wish you all the very best of holiday seasons and may you find peace in those things that bring you pleasure and let go or simply let be of those things that no longer do. No one said everything has to be the same. Life is all about change. Nothing lasts forever…..nothing!