Friday, December 16, 2011

Some Thoughts on Christmas Cards

Did you know that there are about seven billion greeting cards purchased by Americans every year. Of those, over two billion of them will be purchased and given during this holiday season. That's a lot of cards. And to think, each card costs a few bucks, which means there will be a lot of money spent on Christmas cards this year. Can I be honest without losing all the readers of this blog? My wife and I have gone back and forth almost every Christmas, contemplating if we should give out Christmas cards. And most of the time, we have opted not to do it. Let me explain.

Some of you may not like me saying this, but many of the cards I receive every year do nothing to me. They don't affect my life. Unlike the TV commercials, the poem that is written by some Hallmark writer never moves me to tears. The main reason? I am just not impressed with a card that makes me feel like one in a thousand. Don't get me wrong, I appreciate it when people think of us and send us a card in the mail. Who doesn't like to get more mail? I appreciate when people give cards attached to gifts. I appreciate that they thought of us, even though we have not seen them in years. Please understand, in no way am I trying to make those that send out cards to feel bad about doing it.

What I am trying to do is to ask ask you to redeem your card giving. How do you do that? How can you make Christmas Card giving something that is meaningful and really affects people? Here are a few ways I think you might be able to redeem your card giving.

First, Make Each Card Personal! It doesn't even have to be much more than a sentence or two, but write something specific to each person. Please don't just sign each card with your name or even some catchy slogan like, "I hope you have a Merry Christmas." Make each person you send cards to feel like you really care for them. Be personal with them. Tell them what they have meant to you this past year. Explain to them your feelings. One main objection to this is that people say they do not have time to write a personal note on each card. Then I would ask you why you are doing it? Is it to make yourself feel better or to really encourage the other person? Whenever I open a card, I hardly ever read the typed message at first, but always go right for what is handwritten. My guess is that most other people do as well. So give them something to read about how you feel about them.

Second, Include A Family Picture. Especially if your children are younger, this is a great way to let people know more about you. Instead of giving something that goes into the garbage, give something that will hang on the refrigerator for the coming year. I love this because it allows me to pray for that family every time I open up the fridge, which seems to be a lot of times. It makes me think of them.

Third, Write A Family Letter. I enjoy this, especially with those people we are no longer around. It allows us to stay in touch with what is going on in their life. They make the card personal by revealing their life to us. Tell me what you have been doing in life. Tell me how your kids are doing. And if you are a Christian, tell me how your relationship with Christ is doing. How are you growing? How has your walk with Jesus changed this past year? How are you serving the church? I long to know those things.

Fourth, Include A Small Gift. Obviously, you cannot do that with everyone. But we have received a few Christmas cards with gift cards in them and we feel blessed. You can even take it one step further and write a short message as to why you are giving that little gift to them. It makes us feel special because we understand that card came at a cost to the person.

Well, I did not do this blog post in order to receive less cards this year. I did it to encourage you to redeem your card giving. I sure would appreciate any feedback you might have. Do you agree? Am I just a weird guy? How do you feel about Christmas Cards?

3 comments:

  1. I'm not a fan of cards without photos either, although a note does make it better. we've gotten a lot with printed labels for our address. Ironically, printed labels that I created for them at work. Those seem a little silly to me and I've put them directly in the trash, but I always think it is nice when someone spends the money and time to send a card, though. especially now that I am so far removed from people I love to hear from.

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  2. So, in lieu of sending out cards, do you send out a letter? Or have you elected to send nothing?

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  3. We actually are not sending out anything this year. With a move into a house & all the pastoral things that go on with Christmas season, we just have not had the time. But we have thought of sending out a letter for New Years updating everyone on things that are going on in our life.

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