I very much appreciate cards that are either home-made, have pictures of people I don't see often, or at least have a note in them. But the obviously token cards ("seasons greetings from _insert_name_here_") are worse than nothing.
That being said, I'm appallingly bad at sending these sorts of things out myself.... I've done a good job some years, and nothing other years... so it would be hypocritical to criticize others for not living up to my ideals.
While you can't put them on the mantle, electronic cards don't consume trees and don't burden the postal service.
The reason I ask is that my wife and I are having the annual disagreement about this tradition. I barely look at the cards we receive. I think it's terribly wasteful if other people are doing the same. Postage is no longer trivial and the environmental impact significant.
So we reached a compromise. We're sending an e-card to everyone we know with an email address and a card with a photo to the oldies.
I HATE Xmas cards! I don't care about getting them. I dread sending them (but do anyway just to fulfill the masochistic element of my personality).
Moreover, I don't understand them in this day and age. I have flat rate long distance to anywhere in Canada (and US for certain times). I have email. iChat, Skype, Facebook, Myspace, etc. All the pretty holiday scenes & pictures, and some pretty ugly ones, are available to me in all their splendor on the internet.
And yet I'm forced (well, not forced) each year to come up with something joyful and idiotic to write in, without so much as a drop of hyperbole, 4 trillion holiday cards.
Please explain... WHY?
I can certainly understand it for folks who don't have a computer, and you don't really call much anymore. But if they are connected to the world via those magic Ethernet cables...WHY?
I think they're great. Nothing more festive than a mantle (or whatever) teeming with cards from friends and family. They are esthetically pleasing and are a great way to connect with people.
I have to agree with you there.
Back in the 50s my parents used string running from one corner of the wall to another and hung the cards facing out along the wall. (We did not have a mantle.) I can recall years where all four walls of the living room were covered in multiple rows.
Toss in red and green crepe paper streamers, twisted and run diagonally from corner to corner and a big paper bell at the centre where they crossed and the festive spirit came alive.
I am not a card sender, however, I do make up a card with a sort of little poem for the recipient (usually relating to something they like, or a funny 'blooper' they made)
I just put it on the gift. If there is no gift, I leave it on a table or somewhere they will find it after I leave....
For those I will not see in the season, I try and send a virtual card. they do the same for me.... we are all busy, we all see each other often, and no one really sends cards as the postage alone is difficult for most.
It used to be 2cents if you didn't seal the envelope of a card.... now, the envelope costs more than that....!
I do recall the wall lined with cards as a child, it was fun looking at all the different ones... ( I did it for years myself, but was quick to get out of the way of it once offered the opportunity to do so....)
at night all cats become Leopards...