25 Nov
2013
Posted in: photography
By    Comments Off on Please, Don’t Forget Christmas Cards

Please, Don’t Forget Christmas Cards

I all-out begged a friend to send Christmas cards this year. Her reasons not to send were ones I’ve contemplated myself: postage is expensive, finding the time to buy or make a photo card adds stress and then time to send out each card equals more stress. I thought for all of three seconds that I wouldn’t send cards because the cost to mail them needs its own line-item on my household budget. This year friends who are local will have the added benefit of me not only gifting them with a Christmas card, but also hand-delivering it. Sorry, USPS!

Christmas cards, specifically ones that contain some sort of family photo, are one of the highlights, not only of my Christmas season, but of my year. Most of the year I send one of the kids to check the mailbox for me, but in late November and the month of December, I take over the mail checking duties. Opening a Christmas card is better than a gift someone bought at a store for me. The idea that each of those cards represents someone out there thinking about my family makes me feel blessed and grateful.Christmas cards

Each card I stuff in an envelope (or hand-deliver) represents a prayer I’ve said for each of those families. The process of sending cards is a spiritual one for me. I take my time addressing each one and blessing that card for that specific family. I’ll hang the cards we receive in our kitchen for months after Christmas….MONTHS.  The cards have a longer life than most of the gifts people will receive on Christmas day. Each day those cards hang in my kitchen, I’m reminded of the families that have shaped my own family in some way. I pray over those families and reflect on the changing nature of our world. I enjoy comparing photos from Christmas past to see the incredible pace our kids are growing or the way people I’ve known for decades look older today but still the way they were 20 years ago.

In earlier March, when the weather starts to change (hopefully), I’ll start taking those Christmas cards down. I’ll bundle them together and store them with the cards from years past. As I put each card in the bundle, I pray for those families again. Some of them we stay in close contact with, and I know their specific needs. Others are more general prayers but a “lifting up” just the same.

I’ve worked the last few years on making the Christmas card process as frugal as possible. I take our family photo each November and enjoy that part, even if my kids think it’s mostly a form of torture. I’ve been “designing” my own cards for the last couple of years and printing them out as 4×6 photos. Each card this year was 9 cents. Of course, this year I’ve added hand delivery to the Christmas card process.

I hope Christmas cards don’t go the way of handwritten letters, just another victim of social media. As much as I love seeing photos on Facebook, I like having them hanging in my home as a tangible token of the real people the image represents. Do you send Christmas cards?

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