Christmas Cards and eMail: Can They Mix?

On the subject of Christmas, I have a confession to make. I still haven’t sent cards for last year. Maybe not even the year before. I certainly haven’t started on this year’s yet.

I used to always send cards and I sent them far and wide. It didn’t matter if it was a friend I saw daily or a relative I hadn’t seen since I was 12, I was sending a Christmas card. I also didn’t take people off my list if they didn’t send me one.

I’m not sure if the advent of email started making Christmas cards seem less important to me (since I was staying in touch with most of my card list). But, each year, the fun of doing Christmas cards got to be less. Perhaps as my job got busier and busier towards the end of the year I just stopped having time?

Every year, I was sending my cards later and later. I caught some people off guard who had apparently taken me off their card list and were probably irritated when they got a card from me the day before Christmas–suddenly a card would show up from them shortly before New Year’s. Finally, I started buying New Year’s cards and doing them the week between Christmas and New Year’s, when I was usually off work.

But then we started traveling over Christmas. I started trying to do New Years cards on the plane or in the car, knowing that if they didn’t get done by the time we returned, they weren’t going to get done at all.

I can’t recall what happened last year. I just remember the build up of guilt as Christmas cards kept arriving and I still hadn’t gotten around to mine. It was not a Christmasy feeling–the sense of having something I needed to do and putting it off. By the time I got back to work in January, I was still thinking I was going to send New Year’s cards. I still remember the sense of relief when I gave up and said it wasn’t going to happen this year.

This year, I would like to put together a nice letter with photos and email it to friends and family. It shouldn’t be hard to come up with material–at least not since August. 🙂 According to one Christmas Card Etiquette Advisor, eCards do not count as holiday cards. This same advisor, by the way, says that Christmas cards are supposed to be sent the Saturday after Thanksgiving! Is that actually possible?

That said, I’m pretty sure that wedding etiquette advisors would have told us we couldn’t invite our guests with an email titled, “Top 10 Ways to Have an Untraditional Wedding,” but that didn’t stop our guests from showing up. Are people offended when they get an email invitation to a wedding? Are they offended if they receive an email instead of a paper Christmas card? Or is this an etiquette rule created by greeting card companies?


2 responses to “Christmas Cards and eMail: Can They Mix?

  1. I personally say to get rid of the guilt and if you want to send cards, send whatever you want whenever you want. If you don’t want to, then don’t. Taking a year or two off can help. Maybe reconsider in August or September. I go through the same thing sometimes and cannot beat myself up about it. And, I would be jailed by the etiquette police if I went by the rules of Christmas card sending. I like sending them ‘late’ because I don’t like that “got to give you one because you gave me one” kind of thing. Have a merry Christmas!

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