Sunday, December 14, 2014

The Schwartz's vs Going Postal

There seems to be a new holiday trend in my Facebook newsfeed.  And it's making me sad.  And then a little grumpy because I seem to be having a grumpy holiday season.  Sorry folks, Grinchville, population: Me!  Seriously, I didn't even decorate this year.

Yep, that's all this year folks.  A tiny borrowed Christmas tree with no ornaments.

But I digress.  There seems to be a trend of glorified ba-humbuging the traditional Christmas card.  Many people have proclaimed through status updates, "Hey everyone we've decided not to send out Christmas cards this year.  Sorry!"  and then a lovely family picture is included in the post.

And that's pretty lame folks.

But the one that is seriously making me go postal is what I am calling the holier than thou Christmas Card post.  It goes something like this, "Hi everyone, we've decided not to do Christmas cards this year.  It's just gotten too expensive so we'd rather use that money to give to charity and make the world a better place."  This one I find particularly annoying because they are missing the charity that is the Christmas card.  I can write a check to charity any day.  In fact, I write 10% of my income to charity.  So does my husband.  Happily and without fail we write those checks.  But in a way that's just faceless giving.

I'm handing over some money to an organization and saying, here you take care of this and find someone who needs it.

But when I send a Christmas card I'm giving more than just handing someone else some money to deal with.  I am giving that family I send my Christmas card to a greater gift.  I am giving them my love.  I am showing them whether we keep in touch on Facebook or not that at this holiday season I have personally thought of them.  Maybe I included a handwritten note, maybe I didn't.  But I did write their name on an envelop and send them a little piece of my heart and good will this holiday season.

And today, someone one upped that annoying post by including this lovely link with an "Amen".
I am not sending you a Christmas card this year.

So Kate, and all you other glorified-holier-than-thou-Christmas-card-ba-humbugers, here are 3 reasons why I AM sending you a Christmas card this holiday season.

1.  Cost.  I keep my Christmas cards simple.  It's the thought and the sentiment that counts.  So I ordered 50 photo cards from Costco, ($14.99) and some stamps, ($0.49 x 50 = $24.50), for a grand total of $39.49.  So for $0.79/card I am able to show my love and spread holiday cheer to 50 people.  For $0.79/card, 50 people will go to their mail boxes this holiday season and have at least one piece of mail that day that is NOT A BILL.  For $0.79/card, 50 people will know that I am thinking about them.  When the holidays are busy and everyone is running around, for a least a few moments, their family was the only thing I was thinking about.  And that's gotta make them feel good.  So, yeah, I think I can spare about 40 bucks this year to help 50 families in my lives feel my love for them.

2.  Time IS precious  Part of the Christmas card is the gift of my time.  As I previously mentioned in that moment when I sat there and happily addressed those envelopes with my festive red pen, I'd scrawl their name and address on the envelop and think of their family.  My mind would drift to memories of good times we've shared.  Or of how their influence has blessed my life.  I would think of their kids and last pictures they posted on Facebook.  What a precious time I have thinking of my dear friends, all 50 of them that make the cut this year, even if it is only for a few moments on each name as I address the envelop.  It's funny, this time is so precious it actually goes by pretty fast.  I got all my cards addressed last night in 20 minutes.  Yep, that even included having to send out a few Facebook messages to get updated addresses.  Still, only 20 minutes.  So, let's check that again, I spared 20 minutes of my time to spread joy to 50 families.  Yep.  I think that's worth it.

Now, in all fairness, because I actually do love doing handwritten correspondence, about 18 of those 50 people also got a handwritten note slipped in the envelop.  I don't do that most years but this year I had some extra time.  That took me about an hour.  Still not bad.  And if you're one of those 18 people you should feel *extra* loved.

3.  "You Already Know What We've Been Doing This Year" Dear friends who follow me on Facebook, even you Annie who only lives 3 miles from my house, yet you are all on my Christmas card list.  Isn't it wonderful that you mean so much to my life that when it comes to celebrating Christmas, even on a grumpy year for me, I can't bear the thought of not sending you a little joy in the form of a Christmas card.  You've probably already seen the picture I put on the card.  That's ok.  I hope you enjoy having it in your hands.  There's just something so different and special about holding a printed picture isn't there?  It's why even though digital media is so popular there is still nothing better than a scrapbook to flip through.  I hope you keep this card, and do you know why, because I keep yours.  Especially my dear friends who I have known since college or the early years of marriage.  I get your card each year and I treasure it.  I lovingly tape it to my door frame and smile at it as I look at how your kids have grown.  There are a select few of you whose cards I actually keep all year on my pantry door.  I love getting your new card and seeing the changes in your family.  I know we follow each other on Facebook and I think that's what makes it even more special that at this time of the year I wanted to personally reach out to you.  Because I love you.

So folks, I hope you too find the time and joy in sending Christmas cards.  You never know how much that card may mean to the person that receives it.  Plus I've already proven it takes about $40 and 20 minutes so get off that high horse and address some envelops.

Merry Christmas!
Here's mine, ready to be stamped and dropped in the mail tomorrow.


  1. 3 very great points! Unfortunately I'm skipping cards this year too but it's for other humbug reasons lol. Not for charity or other holier than thou reasons lol :) it makes me sad though

  2. Getting stamps and dropping them in the mail today. You and your family were thought of as I addressed the envelope. I think I even spelled your last name correctly this year :). Love this post and didnt realize this new awful trend. I will always send cards!

  3. I LOOOOOOOVE getting Christmas cards!! We stopped sending them a few moves and a few kids ago, so we only receive a few now. They stay on our fridge all year and bring such joy!

  4. I LOVE getting Christmas cards and so do my kids. They love to see all of them displayed. I used to faithfully send mine our the day after Thanksgiving but have missed that deadline the past few of today, mine haven't been mailed but they will definitely be this week. I am adding "pick up stamps" to my to do list.
    God bless you dear friend!