Monday, December 19, 2011

In defense of Christmas cards

As I was checking addresses for sending off Christmas cards the other day, a comment was made that mailing out cards was a rather environmentally unfriendly choice. So today I present my arguments for the old-fashioned in-the-mail Christmas card.

I’ll admit, a Christmas card sent in the mail has a larger carbon footprint than an e-card or email newsletter. However, as one who still wants to hold a hardcopy, printed and bound book when I read, my strong affection for print is not new. And I firmly believe that tangible hold-in-your-hand, string-up-on-your-wall cards are much more meaningful to send and to receive.

You’ve got to admit, getting a card in the mail is so much better than opening an e-card (no matter how cute the jingle) or downloading an annual letter. And it doesn’t even compare to a post on facebook.
A card in the mail says, we’re thinking of you – and we took the time to get a card, address, stamp and mail it.

Cards can be decorated, coloured and signed. Miya likes to add her flair of stickers and scribbles to the one for her classmates and friends. Even if she doesn’t help with the card, I’ll often tuck in a photo or sample of her artwork. Such cards can become keepsakes or at least share a tangible glimpse into our lives.

Also, the Christmas cards we receive are a key part of our festive decorations. Although they may not get the same focus as a tree or the string of lights, they stand on the mantle as a reminder of our friends and loved ones. Unlike the ornaments we unpack from the box this year, the familiar things we hang from tree branches and window sills, we never know what we’re going to get.

I remember as a kid we’d have so many Christmas cards that we couldn’t possibly display them all. Instead, my mother would put out a festive bowl or box into which the cards would pile up. I recall looking through the pile, seeing photos of old friends, updates from far-flung relatives.

But as of today, we have received 5 cards, one of which is from our local MP. 

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