Whatever happened to …

… Christmas Cards?

It was a big family tradition.  Every year, we would sit around the kitchen table with huge bags of Christmas cards and my mother would have “the mailing list”.  We would go through signing, addressing, and stamping the cards and they’d be taken to the post office for mailing – hopefully for delivery by Christmas.

Maintaining the mailing list was a big event.  It would start with family and then expand to include friends and acquaintances.  It was really important to make sure that we didn’t ignore anyone!  We had this big collection of stamps and I can only remember one card that went out of the country to family in Minnesota.

Then, we would be on the receiving end.  Daily, it seemed, there would be a number of incoming cards from folks.  In our living room, we had drapes that went all around the one wall and my mother would pin the cards to the drapes.  It was nothing to completely cover them.  And, as you can imagine, the horror was that we might received a card from someone new.  Time to add them to the mailing list for next year.

Even then, my parents made sure that we recognized that not everyone celebrated or celebrated in the same way that we did.  Cards were specially chosen to hopefully not offend.

When I left for university, it always was a treat to come home and work my way through the collection to see how many names that I remembered.

After I got married, we started our own tradition of mailing Christmas cards but it was nowhere near the volume of my parents.

Another tradition that I started at the workplace was to stick a card in each of my colleagues’ mailboxes.  I would stop at a variety store and buy a number of those scratch lottery tickets and included them as a gift.  I hoped that at least one person would win the big amount of $50,000 and split it with me!  I seem to remember a couple of people getting $10 winners and there were plenty of people who won a new ticket.  Well, I tried.

Time moves on and I was just reflecting on how few cards that we actually receive these days – and how many that we send out.  It’s not that the cards aren’t available but they’ve become fairly expensive and even the lesser priced ones that you’d find at a dollar store just look cheap.  Then, there’s the cost of mailing them.  It really is sort of sad to see this tradition fading in front of us.

But it’s not gone yet.  Our prized card this year comes from Zug, Switzerland and the Loras Network.


These days, it’s far easier (and cheaper) to send greetings via email or any of the online card generator sites.  Of course, the cost is in giving up email addresses to someone else.

How about you?

  • Are Christmas cards or holiday cards part of a family tradition for you?
  • If so, do you exchange them at the same volume these days?
  • Do you treasure receiving cards from others?
  • Do you see a time when this tradition will disappear completely in favour of something else?
  • Did the price of postage affect your card mailing habits?
  • Have you gone electronic with yours?
  • Or, if you have a blog, do you reach all readers that way?

As always on a Sunday, I’m curious to hear your thoughts.

Please share them via comment below.

Do you have an idea or thought that would be appropriate for my “Whatever happened to … ” series of blog posts.  They can all, by the way, be revisited here.

Please visit this Padlet and add your idea.  I’d love for it to be an inspiration for a post!


OTR Links 12/11/2016

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.