Christmas time [was] here
Happiness and cheer
Fun for all that children call
Their favorite time of the year
I sure hope your Christmas was merry and bright, and that you were able to relax and enjoy your loved ones’ company!
I wanted to pop in today, specifically after Christmas, to talk about what some (sadly) think is the reason for the season: Not Jesus, but rather Christmas cards.
I was listening to one of my favorite shows recently and the host, Lino, was asked his thoughts on Christmas cards.
He’s a guy who doesn’t care a lot about many things, so it wasn’t surprising to find that he doesn’t give sending Christmas cards much thought. He was a bachelor for 40-something years, so he didn’t send any (other than a couple of him and a former roommate as a joke) many years before he got married. Now his wife is the one that sends them to their friends and family, but not before making him sign them all, of course.
(Haha, is it the same way in your household? Yup, same here!)
He went on to say that that Christmas cards should be about the birth of Christ, about the magnificence of God becoming human.
And that’s it. Nothing else.
No Season’s Greetings (which he argues can be sent any time of year) or Happy Holidays (which he implied makes him feel sorry for his Jewish and Hindu friends as they might feel “scared” to celebrate their own holidays by their actual name).
He ended by claiming he didn’t want to see, for example, his Jewish friends’ ugly kid on a card with “Season’s Greetings” slapped all over it–when they’re more than able to share that picture any other time of year (and indeed they may already share those pictures year-round via social media).
It should be MERRY CHRISTMAS or any other related sentiment about the birth of Christ, plain and simple.
Anyways, this made me think about the absurdity of the race to get Christmas cards and Christmas pictures taken for those cards.
Lately (and I say “lately” because we only got married last year, and this didn’t seem so obvious before I became 1/2 of a decision-making team), it’s gotten more dog-eat-world, hasn’t it?
Like all the hipster and mormon moms (and sometimes those that must show off for some reason) just HAVE to have the most perfect card of the bunch. And for what?
A normal Christmas card season might go a little like this: We buy picture-worthy outfits, schedule a session with a photographer, get those precious shots taken, add them to a card design we picked online, sign the cards, address those envelopes and stick stamps to them, and drive them to the post office or drop them off at a designated mailbox to be delivered to our friends and family… And for what?
Some families (ahem, their matriarchs) will even write really drawn-out summaries of what all the kids and the adults were up to that year to include with their cards. I saw a lady share online her family’s really elaborate fold-out brochure-type card (that she designed herself) with multiple sections, each filled with a long paragraph for each of her many kids.
Again, what for?
Now, I’d be a hypocrite if I didn’t include myself in this mix.
In fact, here’s our Christmas card from last year:
(The order goes: Outside >> Inside top [picture from our honeymoon) >> Inside bottom >> Back)
Inside, we included a different handwritten note unique to whoever was getting it, plus a one (or 1.5?)-page typed summary of our goings-on that year.
One way this may differ from those who do it every year is the fact that we were newlyweds and I was so proud of and overjoyed at the fact that we had not only gotten married and gone on a sweet honeymoon, but we also bought our first house, and we were settling in quite nicely to living together.
Rather than bragging, I merely wanted to express our happiness and wish everyone a merry Christmas!
This year, we decided to keep things simple: Yes, we still scheduled a session with our photographer (who we’ve been working with since before we got married) and got some really beautiful pictures taken, mainly because I want to document every year that passes, including each milestone and new members that join our family.
But then we went ahead and forewent getting cards printed with those pictures. My husband wasn’t their biggest fan, and rather than me insisting like a petty naggy wife, I respected his wishes, and made one compromise–well, two:
First, I was still going to print those pictures to out up in our home in some form. (I already did this, in fact, and the resulting canvas is gorgeous.).
Second, I was still going to send cards (without our pictures but with a handwritten note) to our loved ones because wishing them a merry Christmas and sending them some happiness during this season matters to me greatly. I grew up getting these kinds of cards and they always put a smile on my face.
He agreed to both :). Win-win!
I also passed on including a summary because everyone already knows about the bestest thing that happened to us this year, and that is we welcomed our puppy :).
But I won’t be passing on getting more and more Christmas cards every year to add to my ever-growing arsenal of greeting cards.
Plus, those who’d be receiving the cards also follow me on social media so, again, going through all those hoops of repeating ourselves for no reason seemed a tad overkill.
After listening to Lino’s response I realized that cards that don’t express the meaning of CHRISTmas don’t make sense. I think this was his way of getting a bit political, too (which he never does so as to not isolate any of his listeners), because the phrase Happy Holidays is beyond ridiculous to me. The time before December 25 is recognized as the CHRISTMAS season; in fact, Advent begins Dec 1.
(And if we’re being honest here, to me, the Christmas season begins in October!)
But if you don’t believe in God, or think that saying Jesus’s name and celebrating HIS birth isn’t politically correct, and/or subscribe to the notion that we should all pander to the wishes of a few sensitive snowflake souls who can neither tolerate nor understand that this season is about CHRISTMAS, then I only have three words for you: Leave Christmas alone.
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What do YOU think of Christmas cards? Do you send out any?