Friday, December 03, 2010

Christmas Card Reality

A great big bright old-fashioned Christmas bulb went off over my head as I pawed through available Christmas card options during lunch hour. That light soaked through my brain, and here's the wisdom it imparted:

Mary. Stop. You do not have to send everybody a Christmas card this year.

It took a few minutes for me to realize what was happening, standing amidst the glorious array of damn expensive cards.

Really, O Great Bulb? Are you telling me that I do not have to figure out the exact right card that expresses my spirit of the season and plunk down loads o' cash for, say, three or four boxes of cards and first class postage just because I've always done that?

I was experiencing Epiphany pre-Christmas. Right in the middle of the Hallmark store on 2nd Avenue in the most Christmasy city on the planet.

Could it be? Could I somehow cull my ancient list of names and addresses and limit myself to - oh, I don't know - 24?

I say 24 because there were a few boxes marked "Value" with 24 cards for $7.99. My mind was a-whirr. Hm. 24. I mentally flipped through my address book (yeah, I still have an actual address book, though I'm sure there's an app for that).

Hey! A goodly number of these friends follow my every movement on Facebook now. They've seen all my cute GrandBoy pictures. They know what I've been doing all year. Dare I drop at least some of them off my Christmas card list this year?

Yes, the light was beginning to sink in. Might there be others that could slide off the list, as well? People I see fairly often? People I haven't heard from in ten years? I just might pull this off!

Now, I know you're saying to yourself, "Why send any cards at all?" Well, two reasons. One, I like to send Christmas cards. And two, I like to get Christmas cards. I love, love, love getting Christmas cards. I love all the picture cards and the notes. I never throw a card away (yeah, I have a huge box filled with old cards, and, yes, I go through them every year).

So. I am now in possession of 24, count 'em - 24, value-boxed Christmas cards. I went kinda cutsie, since I'm a grandmother now, and grandmothers do that kind of thing. The other options were just boring holly and stuff. I will stop by the Grand Central Post Office on my way home and purchase 24 Christmas stamps, plus extra postage for the two that absolutely must fly off to the UK. I will pop in a Christmas movie tonight, address the cards with much love and affection, and get them in the mail by Monday.

To those of you not amongst the 24: Please know that I still love and cherish you as family and friends. It's merely an economic-stress issue, so don't take it personally. And if you drop me from your list this year, I, too, will survive. Though I really, really like getting your cards.

Thank you, O Great Bulb, for descending on me in the middle of the Hallmark store on Second Avenue in New York City, USA.  I think I can manage it from here.


Anonymous said...

That bulb went off for me many years ago. I do have another system that kinda' works for me. I send the 24 cards but to a different 24 people every year. I rotate the list every 3 or 4 years. Most of my card recipients are my age and we tend to not remember from year to year whether we got a card from so and so the year before or not.

MaryB said...

Hey, I like the rotation idea! Brilliant, Bro!

TheiaT said...

Thanks to you, MaryB, I purchased only one 24-count box of Hallmark Christmas cards today. Thank you and Merry Christmas!

Joy Des Jardins said...

I wish I would have read your post before I sent my cards out about a couple of weeks ago...I may not have felt so guilty cutting my list down. As it was...I sent about 40-45 cards out; and that's already cutting it down from previous years. This whole card thing is getting WAY expensive. I don't know if I can ever cut it down to 24 Mary....I'm freaking out just thinking who I'd eliminate....YIKES! What's scary is I almost bought a few boxes that were on sale for NEXT year. What the heck am I thinking? I have so many leftover cards from years and years of sending cards, that I could just use those for next year and NOONE would know the difference. I think you and I are VERY much alike regarding Xmas cards. Happy Holidays sweetie... Hugs, Joy

Ole Phat Stu said...

Wow! I don't have 24 friends. Acquaintances yes, but friends? Less than a dozen. So am I screwed?