Have Christmas cards gone the way of the dodo bird?

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Eek! I’m behind on my Christmas cards!

Oh, for crying out loud, you know what those are.

Don’t you?

You know: CHRISTMAS CARDS! Those perky, bright and colorful Holiday greetings you send out and receive each December? (Once upon a time these included the optional Xeroxed family year-in-review letter but with the advent of Facebook, those have become extinct because…well…redundant.)

But, wait. You DO send Christmas cards, don’t you?


Well that explains why the only two cards I’ve received thus far, AND WE ARE ALREADY HALF WAY THROUGH THE MONTH OF DECEMBER, are from my chiropractor and someone I don’t even like. But, hey, who’s counting?

It would appear that Christmas greetings, of the paper and pen, snail mail variety, have gone the way of the dodo bird, as it were. Admittedly, over the years, I, too, have pared down my list. For instance, five years ago at this time I had close to two dozen cards on my coffee table already and I would have reciprocated everyone of them, and then some.

Tonight, as I sit here, way behind on my holiday correspondence, I realize I’ve cut my list down even more. Why did I get choosy? Well, for starters, reciprocity is key. And while the object of giving is not to receive, at some point, if I’ve mailed out a Christmas card five years in a row and never received one in return, guess what, I’m done. Also, after my mom died I found myself keeping up correspondence with her friends and gradually I let those peter out.

There are other forms of greetings, of course, photo cards, e-cards and emails, for example. Even texts are more commonplace than a good old-fashioned phone call, and, hey, I’m not above a new-age online Merry Christmas; each has its place. And if you’re really creative, you could even put your holiday letter to music and post it on YouTube like this family did in this epic video:

But for those nearest and dearest the hand-written card is irreplaceable and, unfortunately, it seems to be a dying art, sort of like the hand-written thank-you note (but that’s a post for another day). Am I the only one that loves cracking open the mailbox to peek in and catch a glimpse of the brightly-colored envelopes? I mean, who DOESN’T love getting mail?!

I’m going to get all sensitive and assume that if I’m not in line for an old-fashioned Christmas card greeting, it’s because a) we are not on speaking terms, b) you couldn’t find the perfect card, c) you couldn’t find a pen or d) you couldn’t find time. On the flip side, you’ll know that you were deserving of my time when you receive your slightly-behind-schedule, traditional Christmas card with the requisite kids’ photos and my questionable penmanship (neatness is directly proportional to the number of glasses of wine consumed) wishing you and yours the happiest of holiday seasons. Consider yourself loved, you dodo.

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Erica writes with humour and heart about family, #fit40s and living life in the carpool lane. Part-time banker by day and Netflix-addicted-cake-decorator by night, Erica's in-between time is spent dreaming up ways to ruin her kids' lives. Obviously.


  • Elizabeth

    I love to give and receive those cards! I agree though; my list has gotten significantly smaller over the years as well. For basically the same reasons as yours. However, please know that there is another reason your card has not arrived: custom card created lovingly and painstakingly through a U.S. website has not arrived in my mailbox. Frustrated? Yes. But I just hope my loved ones know I am thinking of them-I just can’t control what’s not in my control. And I sincerely hope I don’t appear insincere, tardy or unorganized. I hope I appear loving and sincere cuz I put a lot of work into those cards, dodo.

    • DomesticDiva

      Ha! Liz, I totally get it. My cards will likely arrive a tad late. Every year my intention is to get them out ‘on time’ and it seems an impossible task. I will add that, with the price of Canadian stamps skyrocketing in January, next year’s post may be singing the praises of e-cards for the budget-conscious! Though nothing can quite replace the mailbox delivery. 🙂

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