Today I filled out 18 Christmas cards. My hand hates me. I don’t usually do that much writing by hand. I type because it is easier on the joints. I am proud of those 18 cards. I filled out addresses and applied stamps and everything. The next step is to actually get them mailed. It only took me two and a half weeks to get this far, maybe I manage to get the cards out in time for Chrismas.
Though my hand is complaining about filling out 18 cards I am certainly glad it wasn’t 18 letters. About a hundred and seventy-five years ago, Christmas letters were what you sent instead of cards. It is all thanks to one guy in England that really didn’t feel like writing a ton of letters to all his kith and kin, that we have Christmas cards at all. This enterprising fellow instead had an artist draw a festive season sketch with the words Merry Christmas and Happy New Year already written on it. Then he had the thing copied and sent those out instead of the traditional Christmas letter. It took a while before they caught on and someone realized there was money to be made.
Now, Christmas cards are a tradition that many embrace, though sending a card through the mail has become a bit old fashioned, much like Christmas letters. Now we send a Merry Christmas text message or a mass greeting on facebook. However, I like to still send cards when I can.
I think when you take time to sit down and actually scribble out a sentence or two, or even just “Merry Christmas” in a card and then actually mail it to a person it shows that the person you sent the card to matters to you. It is certainly easier and cheaper to text or email. Stamps are ten dollars for a book of twenty and the cards cost money too. Then there is the time spent digging up actual mailing addresses and trying to produce writing that is legible enough that another human can read it. Christmas cards take effort. If you put forth effort for something like that it is because you care for the person receiving it. It’s like sending a long distance hug.
Maybe other people don’t see it like that. Maybe that is just my point of view. However, I am still thrilled by every card I receive and I hang them on the back of the front door where I can easily see them. I hope that people that receive cards from me feel the love I shove into the envelope along with the brightly pictured piece of cardboard.