Do you send out Christmas cards? To whom? How many? Why?
No one sends cards any more, right? You tweet, you text, you message on Facebook. Who wants the expense of buying cards and standing in long lines to buy the postage? It’s all so 20th Century.
Me, that’s who. I am Old School. I still do it. It gives me satisfaction. Some few of you received a card from me in the the mail. For the rest of you, here it is — Merry Christmas! Happy New Year! Happy Hanukkah! Happy Kwanzaa!
But you know, someone is buying Christmas cards.
Some 1.6 billion units are sold each year, with women purchasing 80% of them. (Women have also invented Galentine’s Day, just before Valentine’s Day, which you can learn about here.)
The number of cards I send has declined over the years. Some people die, some drop out of sight, some don’t send a greeting card back.
Should I send a greeting to someone who doesn’t return the greeting? Here is the nub of the issue.
Do you send a card to make someone else feel better, or to make yourself feel better?
If it’s to make yourself feel better, getting a response should not count, but, sorry, for me it does.
I have some friends who remain on the list even if they don’t respond. My friend M, for instance, comes from a huge family and she doesn’t send cards out because it would take too long and cost too much. Good friend C does not send cards out. Period. Too much work? I am not sure but keep him on the list because… he is a friend, even if a nonresponsive friend.
Some nieces and nephews get cards even though only one niece responds. (Naturally, she’s in my will.) Their generation doesn’t have the card habit.
My list is also greatly reduced from when I was the gossip columnist at the Daily News, and I got hundreds of cards at the peak of my notoriety. I responded to each one, because that’s how I was raised. As a retiree, only a handful of the former “business” card senders remain, and I am happy to have them.
For me, it’s a mixed bag. I send some cards to make me happy, others to make them happy.
My tradition is to send the cards out immediately after Thanksgiving. I like to be first, and usually am, and it also gives the recipients plenty of time to get a card to mail me.
Assuming they want to.
And don’t get kicked off next year’s list.