Friday, December 20, 2013

Christmas Cards Are Stupid

Sending Christmas cards has been an ongoing tradition since my family started. Each year, as cards come in, I tuck the return addressed envelopes into a pile to make sure we get everyone back. Every year we dress the kids up in fancy, uncomfortable clothes they never wear and attempt to pose them each to look cute, happy, and perfect. Twenty or so pictures are taken and it becomes increasingly clear how often our children are not cute, happy, and/or perfect. The picture with hairs and smiles in place is chosen as winner and uploaded to our Walgreens/CVS account as we carefully choose the card and and words to greet you. Something that says, "Taking this once a year opportunity to let you know you're important to us!" 

Of course the longer we wait to take the picture, the more stressed and overwhelmed we feel and the more pressure we put on ourselves; all in the name of Christmas...obviously.

What a terrific waste of time. Why do we torture ourselves? I'll tell you why...GUILT. Sure, maybe that's not how it started. I'm sure at some point we all sent cards with fantastic intentions. Perhaps some of you still do. I'm speaking for myself here. Last year, I shit you not, after all was said and done, I remember bitching to Nick about how many cards we sent out vs. how many we received. Merry Christmas, Assholes. Whoa. Maybe I'm alone in this one and that's totally fine, but I think that means I send out cards to get them. I'll be totally honest and let it slip that I also send cards to people I wouldn't have thought about had I not gotten one from them. This can't be right. 

GUILT.

Maybe I feel guilty about not being a great friend to you this year and I want you to know that you're still important to me. Maybe I send you a Christmas card every year to make myself feel better about the fact that I haven't seen you in over six years and don't know the names of your children. I can very easily address it to "and family" and you'd never know! Maybe I send you a card because you sent me one and I don't want you to think I'm ungrateful. Whatever the reason, it is clear that my intentions aren't always just a holiday high-five. 

This year, I'm making a conscious choice not to send you a Christmas card. It's not because I don't love you, but more because I do. Let's make plans this year if we haven't seen each other in a while! Let's chat on the phone or even via carrier pigeon! 

LET'S CONNECT!! 

The relationships I wish to foster are those that continue year round, even it's it just through email. I don't need a card from you once a year if that's all you have to offer me. We're all super busy, but let's commit to make time for each other. I don't mean to offend. I totally appreciate you taking the time to stress, stamp, and lick an envelope for me, I really do! I'm just suggesting that as a gift to you, next year I'm giving you permission to skip it. Instead, please spend that time with the ones that mean the most to you or doing something you actually want to do. If that's sending a card, so be it. If it's not, please know that there will be no hurt feelings over here. Save a tree or some shit!

Oh, and yes, I do feel totally guilty writing this as I stare at the pile of envelopes from cards we've received already that won't be reciprocated. I worry that you won't know that I love and appreciate you because you won't get a card back from us.

Isn't that utterly ridiculous? 


10 comments :

  1. I stopped sending cards out three years ago, the same year I started my blog. Funny thing is though, I never have once felt guilty, which is odd because I feel guilty for everything else. Nice to know another Christmas Card slacker!! I say we form a club!! xoxo

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  2. I totally get your frustration, but I've come to view xmas cards as a way to connect with people that everyone understands. Not everyone likes email or talking on the phone or facebook or reading my blog. But most of my friends do xmas cards, and I think reciprocity is culturally important in a community. Feel free to hate me. :)

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  3. Girrrrrl. Our card this year was a collage of five pics, two of which were selfies. I shit you not. Also? Sent 46, received 10. WTF.

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  4. I would never hate you. If everyone always agreed with me and my ridiculous thought process, the world would be boring...and we'd need way more medications. ;)

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  5. Great post, I totally agree, some people I haven't seem for 15 years or so. Save it people,

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  6. I am terrible at remembering to send cards for the holidays. Honestly, I think the only person I know who does is my Gramma...

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  7. Right? I understand the idea, but come on!

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