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Next Life, NO Kids: Christmas Cards Are Stupid

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. I'll be totally honest and even let it slip that I totally sent cards to people I wouldn't have thought about that year because they sent us one and I didn't want anyone to judge me as harshly. 

Because, HOW DARE YOU?! Merry Christmas, Assholes.

What the hell? When did sending Christmas cards become about getting Christmas cards? This can't be right. 


It's possible I feel guilty about not being a great friend to you this year, so I send you a card to let you know 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, and can't for the life of me remember the names of all your children. 

Maybe I send you a card because you sent me one and I don't want you to think I don't appreciate it. Whatever the reason, it is clear that my intentions aren't always just a holiday high-five. 

This year I'm making a conscious decision not to send you a Christmas card. Not because I don't love you, but rather because I do. Let's make plans this year and really make the effort. Let's chat on the phone or via carrier pigeon.

Let's connect for fuck's sake!! 

The relationships I wish to foster are those that continue year round, even if it's 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.

Guilt sucks. 

Whether you love what you just read or hated everything about it, let's connect and talk about it! I'm always open to honest feedback. Come be social with me!

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At 12/20/2013 , Anonymous Kathy Radigan said...

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

At 12/20/2013 , Anonymous Deb @ Urban Moo Cow said...

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. :)

At 12/21/2013 , Anonymous Jenn @ Something Clever 2.0 said...

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.

At 12/25/2013 , Anonymous Next Life, NO Kids said...


At 12/25/2013 , Anonymous Next Life, NO Kids said...

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. ;)

At 12/25/2013 , Anonymous Next Life, NO Kids said...

I'm in!

At 12/26/2013 , Anonymous Karen HUg-Nagy said...

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

At 12/27/2013 , Anonymous Laura said...

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

At 1/01/2014 , Anonymous Next Life, NO Kids said...

Grammas are awesome like that. ;)

At 1/01/2014 , Anonymous Next Life, NO Kids said...

Right? I understand the idea, but come on!


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