While cards seem to be on a downward trend, people still like them


QUESTION: Are people sending Christmas cards these days? I have noticed that I get fewer each year, but I also have moved in the last year, and people might not have my new address. Should I discontinue sending cards, or continue to send mine out? Also, how about family newsletters? Is it polite to include them with their Christmas cards?

CALLIE’S ANSWER: I love Christmas cards. And one year we did a Valentine’s card because we missed Christmas. I also know people do New Year’s cards. If you have the time to do newsletters with the card, go for it!

LILLIE-BETH’S ANSWER: I love holiday cards. I also don’t send them out every year like I used to because of a couple of reasons: 1) budget – between postage, photos and ordering the cards, they can get expensive in a time of year when my budget is already tight and 2) time – the holidays are extremely busy, and it’s getting harder to get everyone together to take a photo and then to find time get them designed and mailed. I also think social media and even email, both which make it easy to share photos and life updates online, also have kept people from sending printed cards as much in recent years.

But I also still love receiving and sending Christmas cards and don’t plan to stop making it a goal to do so, even if it’s not every year. I have started saving money by learning how to design them online myself (through Adobe Illustrator) and then getting cards locally printed, but I also know that isn’t something everyone can do. I also love the informational newsletters that catch me up with what people I care about are doing, even if there is a balance to keeping them real and providing them with enough context. That’s a personal preference, but in me you have a fan.

Anyway, send cards, and stay in touch with loved ones however it makes sense to you, even if you pick a different holiday for holiday cards or choose a different media than printed cards. Also, if you do send them out, you’re more likely to get some in return, and you have the added bonus of informing people of your new address.

More: Melba’s Swap Shop: Use Christmas card as place mats

HELEN’S ANSWER: Sending and receiving Christmas cards is still a wonderful connection to your friends and family. Although we get lots of news from social media, personalized cards and photo cards do keep us in touch. The joy of the season is also conveyed by sending and receiving holiday cards and it just adds to the special time of the year. Short newsletters with family updates are also still welcome and sends the written message that we care. Keep writing and enjoy the season!

GUEST’S ANSWER: Kirsten Cash, property investor and mother of four: I, too, have noticed fewer people are sending Christmas cards. I enjoy receiving cards from people! To me, it is a way of sharing the “glad tidings” of the holidays. I have Christian, Jewish, atheist and agnostic friends and family who send well wishes via a holiday card and I am grateful for each one!

In my house, we have a metal wall piece that was specifically designed to hold cards. We use it all year long to display cards we receive for various occasions. It is currently overflowing with graduation announcements and congratulations! I love being able to cherish well wishes received for an extended period of time. When I was growing up, I remember watching my parents sit at a table in our house and write messages in our family cards to their friends and relatives. Sometimes, they included a recent family photo. We also enjoyed reading the updates from people whose cards we received.

In today’s world, with social media, so many of us update our loved ones regularly that it feels unnecessary to do so again in a holiday card, which is why most people send photo cards. As far as your new address, I believe the burden of that responsibility is on you. When you move, it is common to share your new address with those who are close to you. This can be done via a phone call, text, email, or by mailing a cute announcement. This gives people a chance to update their records. Your loved ones should not have to chase you down.

Whether you continue to send Christmas cards out is up to you. (I hope you do!) Sending a Christmas card should be an act of sharing the joy of the season with others. I feel a newsletter in today’s world is not as needed as it was before social media, but that is a personal preference. There also is no etiquette standard for whether or not to include it with a card. Whatever you choose to do should be done out of a true desire to share joy with the people who you care about, and you should receive whatever method is sent to you with the same joy.

P.S. Ross (Kirsten’s husband) said, “Maybe people aren’t sending cards anymore because you have to take out a loan to buy the stamps!” He’s not wrong!

Since 2009, Callie, Lillie-Beth and Helen have written this generational etiquette column. They also include guest responses from a wide range of ages each week. So many years later, Callie is 20-plus; Lillie-Beth is 40-plus and Helen is 60-plus. To ask an etiquette question, email hfsok@aol.com.



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