Last night I began the annual ritual of preparing my Christmas cards not to be sent but to be printed. I already have received my first Christmas card in the mail, but I have not even sent mine off to the printer. I feel good knowing that I have a plan this year as there have been years that the Christmas card did not even get mailed. We had thought that we would send out a New Year’s card, a Valentine’s Day card or possibley an Easter card, but usually those plans went by the wayside as other things (life!) got in the way. There have been years that I have felt the pressure from the arrival of other people’s cards to hurry up and get out my cards, but honestly that is not where I am this year.
This year I honestly question the necessity of sending the cards at all. With Facebook now connecting me with most of the people in my life currently and in the past, I see very little need for spending the money and sending the cards. If the people that I send cards to are anything like I am, they will hang the photo card on the refrigerator for a few months until the photos have been knocked down enough times that I finally, in frustration, remove them all…and, yes (shock!), throw them away. For a few months of the year between frustration and the next card season, my refrigerator is filled with magnets or evidence that my children are doing well in school and activities.
However, there seems to be something important about sending Christmas cards to those we cherish most. To “make the cut” on someone’s Christmas card list is important. Will I get a card or not? What has happened of importance in their lives since last year that they will write in a few lines that are sent? Being someone’s Facebook friend simply puts me in the midst of the masses. There is no limit high enough that I would ever reach it on the friends I can acquire on Facebook; however, at some point in the Christmas card sending, I will be cut from someone’s list. Economics dictate this. To be in the top 100 of someone’s life and to receive a Christmas card is a great feeling.
Sending Christmas cards, though, is a difficult task. What should those few lines be that I share with the recipients of the cards? How can I possibly condense a year into a few lines? I cannot, obviously, do that well as most of my daily blog posts exceed 900 words.
I have decided that a photo that simply shows my family’s current character along with the consistent aging of each of us is enough. A few lines that attest to what God has done in us and through us over the year will add to the photo in addition to well wishes for the year to come. And that is enough.
Those without Facebook are hopefully close enough to us that we actually pick up the phone throughout the year to verbally share more than a 160 character status update with them.