Whatever happened to …

… Christmas cards?

Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

We do celebrate Christmas around here. But, certainly nowhere near the way that my parents did.

I guess, more correctly, like my mother did. It was the biggest event of the year and one of the rituals was Christmas cards.

It always started with bringing out the leftover unsent cards from the previous year. That determined how many more would have to be purchased. I remember thousands of them but probably a couple hundred is more accurate.

Then, it was to her address book. New names would be added during the year and, sadly, some would have to be removed. Then, we would set up an assembly line at the Christmas table. I’ll admit that I can be easily bought since there were always Christmas cookies in the centre to maintain our interest.

And we started.

On a good year, we would have sheets of return addresses on stickers until we ran out. But, the return address was added, then the mailing address, a stamp, and then the card. Each of the cards were carefully chosen depending upon who it was going to and Mom who had the best handwriting would personalize each and sign them from “Viola and the 3 Ds.”

It took a couple of evenings and then Dad would take the boxes to the post office and off they went. Of course, he would bring home the latest incoming which Mom would straight pin to the curtains at the front and right of our living room. At night, with the Christmas tree on, it made for an interesting sparkling show.

For a Sunday, your thoughts?

  • do you recall any family Christmas Card rituals?
  • how did you determine who made your naughty / nice list to receive or not receive a card?
  • do you have a preference? winter scene, religious, Santa Clausish?
  • do you still send out Christmas cards?
  • if you do, do you buy them at a boutique store, drug store, or dollar store?
  • do you ever include something special with the card like a lottery scratch ticket?
  • when you receive Christmas cards, how do you display them in your home?
  • do you receive cards at random like from a salesperson you might have bought a car or a home from the previous year, a neighbour, long lost relative, or just a friend for the first time? Is the feeling extra special when you get one?
  • have you moved away from the traditional cardboard stock to something more digital?

As always, it’s fun to read your thoughts. Please share them in the comments below or on social media?

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Author: dougpete

The content of this blog is generated by whatever strikes my fancy at any given point. It might be computers, weather, political, or something else in nature. I experiment and comment a lot on things so don't take anything here too seriously; I might change my mind a day later but what you read is my thought and opinion at the time I wrote it! My personal website is at: http://www.dougpeterson.ca Follow me on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/dougpete I'm bookmarking things at: http://www.diigo.com/user/dougpete

8 thoughts on “Whatever happened to …”

  1. Doug, this post made me smile as I never grew up with sending out Christmas cards. A few weeks ago, I saw my mom getting ready to mail a stack of them. This year, she decided to write probably close to 100 Christmas cards. Why start now? I wonder if retirement coupled with being home more due to COVID restrictions, inspired the change. Now I’m curious if this is a tradition she’ll continue.


    Liked by 1 person

  2. That’s great about your mother, Aviva. Could it be a sign of appreciation for those who have impacted her life and the influence of COVID amplify it?

    Regardless of the reason, I’m sure that those on the receiving end will appreciate it.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I still send our cards, although not as many as I used to. I tend to focus on relatives overseas or far from me. I always include a letter. I don’t send as many because I talk to folks close by or thru social media now. But it sure is nice getting mail that isn’t a Bill!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I forgot about the concept of sending a letter with Christmas cards, Ramona. Thanks for bringing it up. We never did but it was always nice reading yearly updates from people that we didn’t see regularly.


  5. I had a sore knee this past week, so with resting it more, I got my cards done — all 5 of them! I may have to buy single cards instead of boxed sets in the future!
    My mom used to start early on the cards that “required” a handwritten letter as well. I have had years in the past when I included handwritten letters and a few years of typewritten “canned” letters, but I no longer do either. I have put sparkly confetti in cards at times — just for those who I know would not be annoyed when it falls out!
    I like winter scenes with wild animals or human winter activities featured (or snowmen, but seldom Santa).
    I display received cards somehow. Lately, spread out in a fancy basket works. I still have a few cousins who email a family update at Christmas.
    Our realtor sends a calendar every year.
    I struggled a bit with what to write in a card THIS year! I went with messages of hope…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Sheila, I suspect the message of hope may well be the common theme this year! I asked my wife last night how many cards that she sent out (I do a blog card…) and I think we may be in the five neighbourhood as well.

      Liked by 1 person

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