Saturday, November 20, 2010

Special Delivery!

I'm not someone who could ever be accused of having OCD.  Dirt doesn't bother me in the least, dust collects on my furniture for weeks before I finally break down, pull out the Pledge, and get to work.

I must confess, though, that there is one area in which I can become tremendously obsessed:    Christmas cards!

Each year, I take excruciating care choosing the perfect cards, stationery on which we'll print our yearly letter (yeah, I'm one of THOSE people who writes an "update" letter!), and return address labels.  I even make sure the stamps are festive!  Most years, I've even subjected poor Alan and Trixie to donning our Christmas finery, setting the timer on our camera, and  taking a photo, which I also include in the envelope!

After I've acquired all the supplies, I hit "shuffle" on the Ipod Christmas playlist, then sit down to write a personal note in each card.  It's usually just a few lines, telling my friends and family how much I miss them, and wishing them a happy holiday season.  It takes a while, I have a long list of names.  But I honestly enjoy it, because it makes me think of each one of my cherished loved ones as I hand write their names and the names of their children on the inside of each one.

Here's where the OCD comes in:  I make sure I have ALL of this done and in the mail the Tuesday before Thanksgiving. Why?  Because that means my Christmas card will arrive in the mailboxes of my friends and family on the day after Thanksgiving, the FIRST official day of the Christmas season! Seriously, I NEVER miss!  And my loved ones know it, too!  One year, we decided to save money and skip the card sending.  Just about EVERY card I received that season said something like,  "We didn't get your card the day after Thanksgiving!  Are you guys OK?" Like I said, it's a sickness!

I guess I put so much effort into my cards each year because I enjoy RECEIVING them so much.  I LOVE the beautiful wintery scenes on the front, and the enclosed pictures of growing children in pretty velvet dresses and small bow ties!  I LOVE the enclosed letters, telling me what everyone's accomplished over the year, and the plans for the year ahead.

Which leads me to a small pet peeve I've had for a while.  Would you mind if I rant for a moment?  Have you ever gotten that card in the mail that has the family's names already printed on them?  They look beautiful, no doubt. But I've received so many that have no handwriting in them at all, not even our names listed at the top.  This means the card went directly from the box to the envelope.  The envelope, by the way, has a computer printed stick-on label with my address on the front.  This means the sender of this card thought of me for exactly two seconds, when they peeled the label off the sheet and placed it on the envelope.

I know most people are MUCH busier than me during the Christmas season.  I don't have children's school holiday programs to attend, or dozens of family members coming to my home for Christmas dinner.  I really do understand that sometimes, pre-printed cards and peel-and-stick labels are all some can manage.  But I genuinely believe that it's a waste of a stamp.

Christmas cards, in my opinion, are supposed to say, "Hey!  I was thinking of you!  Maybe I don't get to communicate with you all year, but I wanted you to know that I love you, I cherish your friendship, and I want you and your family to have a merry, merry Christmas!"  When you stick an address label on an envelope and enclose an impersonal, pre-printed card, you're saying, "Hey, at least I put forth an effort."

What do YOU think?  Am I being ridiculously old fashioned?  Do YOU still send holiday cards each year? How do YOU do it?  I'd love to hear your opinion!  Well, I've got to run.  Those envelopes don't address themselves, you know...

Thanks for Reading!!

20 comments:

Kathy B said...

Love this! I don't write the cards as early as you like to, but I like to spread out the cards and envelopes and work on them beside our tree once it's up. I do like to write the notes and letters and love getting them from everyone else. I'm thinking that getting those cards mailed early also gives you more time for doing all the awesome home decorating you do!!! :D

jel said...

old fashioned, is a good thing, in my book!

I use to send out a lot of cards , but I don't many more.

hope ya have a great Thanksgiving :)

jel said...

forgot to say, that is a cute puppy , I want one.

Eva Gallant said...

Some years I send cards; some I don't. I guess it depends how I'm feeling.

Shady Del Knight said...

Like anything else you must set limits. The card thing can get way out of hand and use up all of your time if you let it. A phone call, email, or e-greeting could be used instead to convey holiday wishes while saving time. I strictly limit the number of people on my mailing list and, like you, I always send them out early. I'm in Florida and last year, instead of sending a card with a snowy winter scene on it, I sent one with a beach and palm tree.

ReformingGeek said...

I think it's great that you send Christmas cards. I do, most years, but without the personal message. ;-)

I'm definitely NOT OCD!

Daisymum said...

I wish I had time to send Christmas cards. I do admire those that do send them. I use most of my time handmaking gifts, so at least I do think of them for at least an hour or two while I am making the gift. WHich by the way do you still have the frienship tea cup I made you? It is nice to see that people do enjoy the art of the Christmas card sending! As always I love reading your blog! I read every post, I can't always comment, because my computer at work wont let me. Have a Merry Thanksgiving!

Noelle said...

I handwrite cards every year. I wouldn't do it any other way.

DiamondsOnMySoles said...

When i got married i had people giving off to me for months about my thank you cards. I decided then and there that I couldn't be bothered with the obligation associated with thank you cards - and christmas cards- i've never sent out a batch of cards at christmas. Everyone hates it, but they're gradually getting used to the fact that I'm not going to send them a card just because they're the second cousin of my in-laws and met them once that time we were all at a funeral ... I do send a few cards to the people I love who are scattered all over the world. Which i don't feel obligated to do. I do it because I love them, and if I forget they're the kind of person that doesn't care and won't hold a grudge! :)

Little Miss Can't Be Wrong said...

i think i sit halfway between the two camps...
you see, we handwrite all of our envelopes and we DO sign all of our letters (yes, each of the six of us handwrites our own name)... but we don't write a special message in each! tooo manyyyy family members!

Margaret (Peggy or Peg too) said...

I agree -if you take the time to send cards I feel you should have the respect to "write" your name.

I love getting the letter update from friends across the world. I do not do it but I love getting them.

Lisalulu said...

mmm this gives me something to think about. I like (and do) the write a few lines on every card, but I am the one that prints all the addresses out on the computer. Maybe I'll change that!

Shan said...

I'm with you! When I open a blank card, especially one where the senders' names are preprinted, it bums me out. One year I decided to try that myself. Blah!

Red Shoes said...

I like the hand-written cards... I do need to buy new ones for the up coming year!!!

Happy ThanksGiving!!!

~shoes~

Linda Myers said...

I create a letter every year because my husband's family is large and he loves that I can write an interesting one. We have an assembly line when we put stuff in the evnvelopes. A card, signed by each of us, maybe a line or two, and the letter.

I've kept all the letters I've written since 1996, and every now and then I go back and read them all to remind myself what it was like when we had kid chaos at home.

lifeshighway said...

I like the personalized messages but I am not offended by people who choose the pre-printed route. Holidays are busy enough as it is.

Paige said...

god damn i love your blog name!

Looking for Blue Sky said...

I'm absolutely appalled at the idea of sending a pre-printed Christmas Card! I don't have much free time but I do put a handwritten note in every card I send - some longer than other tho'! I actually enjoy receieving cards with messages even more than presents :) Fair play to you for doing something so lovely for your friends and family x

Cheeseboy said...

Christmas cards are a dying art form. Glad you are keeping the spirit alive and with such fervor!

SonyaAnn said...

We are polar opposites! I'll clean til my knuckles bleed but to hell with Christmas cards. Well not that bad but I admit that I rush through them. Forgive me.

Post a Comment

Wow! You're going to comment? Congrats, you are now, officially, one of the COOL people!! (And, thanks!)