Thursday, November 29, 2007

Christmas cards

I'm not sure, maybe its because I didn't start celebrating Christmas until I was 30. Maybe its just part of my personality, and has no bearing on how long I've been celebrating Christmas. Maybe its because I used to write and send postcards from our annual Outer Banks of NC vacation every summer.

I love sending holiday cards. I love the whole process, from picking out boxed cards I think are pretty, to creating my card list, to writing short notes inside each card, to hand-writing the recipient's name and address on the envelope. I just love it!

I've created a bit of a ritual for card writing. I like to put on Christmas music, pour myself a glass of eggnog, arrange my cards on the kitchen table so I can see all the different types, put my card list on my right and my address print-out sheets on my left, sit down and get to it. I pick from my card selection to go with the recipient's personality, favorite color, or some memory of them I've saved. I usually sing a long with my favorite Christmas CDs, which are by The Manhattan Transfer, Ella Fitzgerald, and The Carpenters. It takes several hours so I never finish all the cards in one setting. Two years in a row I had to be out of town two nights in Dec for work, so I took my card writing supplies with me and wrote out a bunch of cards in my hotel room.

I think its important to hand-write the names and addresses on the envelope. To me that says 'I took the time and made the effort for this to be personal for you.' Those computer printed stick-on labels people create from their address books just lack the personal touch, in my opinion. They say 'I like you enough to send you a card, but not enough to physically write your name and address on the envelope'. However, I do use pre-printed return address labels. Nobody cares whether or not I hand-write my own address!

When preparing my card list every year I will invariably add new people we've met and be-friended during the year. So in order not to go bankrupt purchasing cards and stamps, and to prevent needing to start addressing cards in July, each year I also drop a few names off the list. Although I don't like doing this, it is a necessity. If I've sent them cards for the last 3 years and have not received a card, call, email, or smoke signal in return, then I have to edit them off the list in order to make room for the new folks.

Now, I understand that not everyone enjoys Christmas card writing like I do, so I don't remove people from the list simply for not sending me a card. I just expect some kind of acknowledgement. "Hey, got the holiday card. Thanks!" in an email is fine. "Oh, by the way, thanks for that beautiful Christmas card. It arrived yesterday." at the close of a phone call is fine too. Its not that I want to be recognized for sending them. Its just the only way I can think of to edit the card list, since I add new people every year.

I know that some begin their cards on the Thanksgiving weekend. I started that early one year, but held onto the cards until sometime in Dec to mail them. I've not started my cards yet this year, but I have created my list and counted my cards. I've only got 85 left over from last year so I will need to buy about 50 more. I told you I love it!

Drag Queen name of the day: Ida Slapter


tornwordo said...

I love the ritual too. I think you've motivated me to crank them out this afternoon. (And if you'd like one from me, send me your address.)

Anonymous said...

Thanks for linking to me, Markles! I'll do the same on mine...altho, I don't get as many readers as you do.