Sending out Christmas cards is one of the traditions of the season I love. I haven’t seen Marie since college, but I send her a card every year--and she sends one back. Our neighbors moved away twenty-seven years ago, but we still keep in touch at Christmas time. It gives me a warm feeling to think about them and to know how they are doing. We probably won’t get together and visit each other, but it doesn’t matter. We remember each other and wish each other well and hope that next year another card will come.
To me, the emotional connection is the most important part of the tradition.
Fewer and fewer people send out cards these days. Yes, the price of stamps keeps going up, but spending 46 cents once a year on an old friend is a far cheaper than buying them a drink.
Posting “Merry Christmas” or "Happy Holidays" on Facebook is nice, but it will soon be forgotten in a cascade of hastily posted greetings. A card in the mailbox is a special surprise, one that can be held and remembered for a long, long time after its delivery. A card is a gift, real symbol of your presence to someone else.
Over the years, I have removed people from my card list. I usually give them a few years, and then I reluctantly cross them off. However, I will often email the pdf file of our Christmas newsletter to them. I figure it is something they can print if they like—or send it to their ereader. It is my attempt to reach out and keep in touch. I find it very sad that in our modern society with all our amazing communication devices, all I ever get from many people are a bunch of forwarded messages that contain nothing about their personal lives and many of those forwarded messages are filled with hate, which is even more distressing.
Please touch somebody in a special way this holiday season. Send them a real paper card in the mail. Give them a memory.