Jump to content

Menu

Christmas card reciprocation?


Night Elf
 Share

Recommended Posts

I wasn't going to do cards this year. I don't remember doing them last year. This year I've gotten two already. Do I have to reciprocate? Is it considered bad ettiquette to just wish them a Merry Christmas over Facebook on Christmas day? I don't want to do the cards thing! Yes, I'm whining.

Edited by Night Elf
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Personally I think people who celebrate Christmas should send Christmas cards if they have the time.  Sometimes it's too much to fit in with everything else.

 

I really enjoy receiving Christmas cards, so I should send them.  Usually I manage to get it done, but not always.

 

I noticed that the number of cards has been dwindling lately.  I guess it's not really a thing any more.  That's kind of sad IMO.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I send Christmas cards every year. I usually buy more than I need to so if I get any unexpected ones, I can reciprocate. But, I don't send them with the expectation that I'll get one in return, I send them because I enjoy it. If you're not sending cards, I wouldn't feel obligated to reciprocate. :-)

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

No. I think people who send cards know some people

1. just don't send cards.

2. take a year off from sending (and maybe don't go back)

 

 

I send a letter with pictures. I don't do cards anymore because it is too expensive. I can create a one page document with multiple color pictures and have it printed cheaply at Staples. I am not on FB with everyone and I don't post a lot of family info on FB. So, I send a short update note on the family--like 4-5 sentences with a bunch of pictures taken throughout the year. Doing this important for some older members of the family not geographically close to us.

 

I almost didn't do the letter this year. I can relate to getting tired of putting it out.

 

A friend of mine used to do a fun letter written in the voice of a pet. She quit one year, due to a family tragedy and never wrote another one.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Christmas cards do not need to be reciprocated. A personal letter (not a form letter or single sentence at the bottom of a card) is entirely different, and I would make the effort to either write back or call to schedule time to get together.

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I send cards with personal handwritten letters and, for some, I include a photo of either DH and me or of the entire family. And I find it depressing that nobody takes the time and effort to write back.

I might feel differently if I just stuck a preprinted greeting card into an envelope  - but I do go to the trouble to actually write to each person to whom I send a card. Not receiving any mail back does make me feel as if I am the only one who cares. Which probably is the case, sigh. It does take effort to maintain connections to old friends, but if somebody can't manage once a year, I have to wonder.

And yet, I am again writing my letters this year, but I have given up hope of hearing back.

 

A generic 3 second facebook posting on somebody's wall is not the same thing.

 

Edited by regentrude
  • Like 5
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I remember hearing a story about a professor who did a not very scientific study on this. People often respond to cards and it appears assume they must know the sender. I can't find the original study, but here is a link that explains it:

 

 

http://www.daytondailynews.com/news/lifestyles/want-christmas-cards-mail-them-to-strangers/nTPZt/

 

It's interesting that the guy ended up on some of these other people's list for 15 years (he didn't keep sending cards himself).

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

i don't send cards anymore. When I did, if I got a card from someone on my list I reciprocated. I always made sure I had extra cards in case that happened

 

Now that I don't send them anymore, I still get a few. I think the people who send me cards probably still like to send cards. Most people who know me know that I stopped sending out Christmas cards several years ago. They choose to send me cards because they want to.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It is not necessary to reciprocate although acknowledgement is always nice.  

 

I think Christmas cards are a dying tradition.  I send photo cards to selected relatives and a few friends.  I send generic cards to a handful of other people.  Each year I send fewer cards.  Our family also receives fewer cards each year.  

 

Sending Facebook messages is fine -- If the people you want to greet are on Facebook.  We aren't.    

 

 

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

(Not Christian; we do send out New Year cards when we get our act together)

Christmas cards do not need to be reciprocated. A personal letter (not a form letter or single sentence at the bottom of a card) is entirely different, and I would make the effort to either write back or call to schedule time to get together.

 

 

I agree with this.  A mass mailing -- be it a card, or a newsy family letter printed out and sent in the same form to everyone -- is different from a personal handwritten note specifically tailored to an individual or family.  The latter merits the same response that an actual snail mail letter would merit (I know such things barely exist anymore! but the principle).

 

When we work out our recipient list for our (mass mailing) New Year card, I start by hauling out the basket of the cards we received in the prior year... but then add a lot from there, since loads of people we love and like don't send cards.  Some years we don't get our act together and miss the window, oh well.

 

I only have one cousin who does the personal message thing.  I do the same, for him.  

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I usually send a handful out each year, to family and a few friends who I know could use a card. But I just buy a box every year after the holidays so I have a stash that I pull from when I need a card.  I probably send a dozen or so.  I do NOT feel obligated to reciprocate. 

 

The weird thing is that I send a ton of cards and notes during the year. I send actual mail to people just because. People who are sick or have lost someone or who just need encouragement.  I probably send 20+ a month. So it's kind of weird that I don't go all out and send Christmas cards.  

 

When I was in 6th grade (1973!) we visited a monastery and I connected with a monk. I wrote to him for a year or so then stopped. When I was a senior in high school, he out of the blue sent me a note saying that he was thinking about me and wondered how I was. It just so happens that at that time I was going through something and really, really appreciated hearing from him.  His note made a difference...and to this day makes me mindful that a kind word to someone might make a difference in their day.   And I'm all old school about it- notecards and postage stamps. 

  • Like 9
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I am sad that I have only received 7 cards so far this year. I sent out 55. No, I don't send them just to get some back, but I really enjoy receiving them. :( I have nearly concluded I am not sending them anymore, or I might only send them to people who are still doing it. (Of course, there are some elderly relatives whom I know will not send, and that is okay. I am disappointed in the number of younger people who aren't sending them anymore.)

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Personally I think people who celebrate Christmas should send Christmas cards if they have the time.

 

Ok, why?

 

This is a sincere question.

 

I used to send cards, then I stoppsed (don't remember why, so it wasn't anything big or dramatic).  I've been thinking about starting again, but was trying to decide who I should/should not, which made me tired, so I dropped the idea again.

 

So, I'm intrigued by the idea of "should".  I'd love it if you explained.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I send cards with personal handwritten letters and, for some, I include a photo of either DH and me or of the entire family. And I find it depressing that nobody takes the time and effort to write back.

I might feel differently if I just stuck a preprinted greeting card into an envelope - but I do go to the trouble to actually write to each person to whom I send a card. Not receiving any mail back does make me feel as if I am the only one who cares. Which probably is the case, sigh. It does take effort to maintain connections to old friends, but if somebody can't manage once a year, I have to wonder.

And yet, I am again writing my letters this year, but I have given up hope of hearing back.

 

A generic 3 second facebook posting on somebody's wall is not the same thing.

I think this is a beautiful thing to do. Receiving handwritten letters in the mail is like finding a diamond in a pile of hay. I would write you back:-)

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Ok, why?

 

This is a sincere question.

 

I used to send cards, then I stoppsed (don't remember why, so it wasn't anything big or dramatic).  I've been thinking about starting again, but was trying to decide who I should/should not, which made me tired, so I dropped the idea again.

 

So, I'm intrigued by the idea of "should".  I'd love it if you explained.

 

Christmas cards make people happy and brighten up their homes at this dark time of year.  It's a fairly easy way to brighten up someone's day.

 

When I was young and on my own, I went for some time without sending any cards, but some nice people kept sending cards to me.  One day I thought, it feels so nice getting these cards, why am I not sending cards out?  I had no good reason not to, so I started up again.

 

There are some years when I am absolutely overwhelmed (I have a lot of year-end work and we travel over the holidays), and I fail to send them out, but I try not to let it go two years in a row.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I am sad that I have only received 7 cards so far this year. I sent out 55. No, I don't send them just to get some back, but I really enjoy receiving them. :( I have nearly concluded I am not sending them anymore, or I might only send them to people who are still doing it. (Of course, there are some elderly relatives whom I know will not send, and that is okay. I am disappointed in the number of younger people who aren't sending them anymore.)

 

Oddly enough, I have received more from young people this year.  

 

Some are downright odd, though. Dd received a handwritten note in a very nice Christmas card.  From The Ohio State University.  She never went there but her college had a grad school fair and she talked to someone from there. More than a year ago.     

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I send cards with personal handwritten letters and, for some, I include a photo of either DH and me or of the entire family. And I find it depressing that nobody takes the time and effort to write back.

I might feel differently if I just stuck a preprinted greeting card into an envelope  - but I do go to the trouble to actually write to each person to whom I send a card. Not receiving any mail back does make me feel as if I am the only one who cares. Which probably is the case, sigh. It does take effort to maintain connections to old friends, but if somebody can't manage once a year, I have to wonder.

And yet, I am again writing my letters this year, but I have given up hope of hearing back.

 

A generic 3 second facebook posting on somebody's wall is not the same thing.

 

I bet a lot of people do care- and have good intentions to write you back. But it's just not something a lot of people get around to.  

 

We're all so different- I love looking back at the cards or notes that I've accumulated over the past few months. Other people toss them in the trash as soon as they get them.  Different strokes...I imagine some would rather look at their Facebook wall to see what people have written than have actual cards or note lying around. 

 

I hope you get some notes back. Do you nudge them with an 'I'd love to hear from you' in your notes?  

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Christmas cards make people happy and brighten up their homes at this dark time of year.  It's a fairly easy way to brighten up someone's day.

 

When I was young and on my own, I went for some time without sending any cards, but some nice people kept sending cards to me.  One day I thought, it feels so nice getting these cards, why am I not sending cards out?  I had no good reason not to, so I started up again.

 

There are some years when I am absolutely overwhelmed (I have a lot of year-end work and we travel over the holidays), and I fail to send them out, but I try not to let it go two years in a row.

 

Ok, I get that you think it's a nice thing to do.  And your reasons make sense.

 

I  guess I took "should" as stronger than you meant.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I send cards with personal handwritten letters and, for some, I include a photo of either DH and me or of the entire family. And I find it depressing that nobody takes the time and effort to write back.

I might feel differently if I just stuck a preprinted greeting card into an envelope  - but I do go to the trouble to actually write to each person to whom I send a card. Not receiving any mail back does make me feel as if I am the only one who cares. Which probably is the case, sigh. It does take effort to maintain connections to old friends, but if somebody can't manage once a year, I have to wonder.

And yet, I am again writing my letters this year, but I have given up hope of hearing back.

 

I sympathize.  I too send out letters for the holidays, and I'm always so excited to see an envelope in our mail box.  If the card is simply signed "Love, so and so," it's a disappointment when this is the only contact I have all year with these particular family members or old friends. 

 

Regards,

Kareni

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I can't mass send cards.  The only cards I do are the ones I physically hand to a person.

 

I receive (and hand out) a good number of 'in person' cards.  With the cost of postage, it totally makes sense to hand a card to someone if you're going to see them during the season.   I received a card today from a friend I'm having dinner with tomorrow- I have her card ready to hand to her and now I'm wondering if it looks cheap that I'm not mailing it. Oh well...I'm not really the kind to care about stuff like that. 

 

Do people think handing out cards is somehow different than mailing them?  

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I don't send a letter with the card, because I don't know what to say that doesn't come across either braggy or whiney.

 

Sometimes I do write a short note inside, for a specific reason, but not in general to everyone.

 

A couple times I included a photo-card type thing that was self-explanatory.  The first time was when my kids came home via adoption, and the wording was "introducing my gifts" with a their names and birth dates.  Then last year, they rode horses in the Christmas parade, and there was a photographer taking orders for photo cards, so I did that.  That is braggy enough, I think.  :)

 

Now that I'm thinking about it, I am getting some fun ideas for photo cards.  Hmm, I wonder if there is still time ....

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

 

 

Now that I'm thinking about it, I am getting some fun ideas for photo cards.  Hmm, I wonder if there is still time ....

 

I receive Christmas cards a couple of weeks after Christmas- it's not too late!

 

A few friends have transitioned to New Year's cards. They're usually the Shutterfly kind with family pictures. Cute idea. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Sending cards is a priority for me. And I do feel I have to reciprocate if I receive one and I don't send one, but that's just me. However, I don't expect everyone to send me a card because I sent them one. For many reasons I like to put the time, money and effort in Christmas cards, I wouldn't feel the same if I let technology take over ;)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I receive (and hand out) a good number of 'in person' cards. With the cost of postage, it totally makes sense to hand a card to someone if you're going to see them during the season. I received a card today from a friend I'm having dinner with tomorrow- I have her card ready to hand to her and now I'm wondering if it looks cheap that I'm not mailing it. Oh well...I'm not really the kind to care about stuff like that.

 

Do people think handing out cards is somehow different than mailing them?

Nah! Don't over think it. In my case, many times I'd rather mail them when I am mailing everyone's, but not because I think handing them is bad or cheap. My reasons: 1) like the feeling of having it done and not having to think about it anymore 2) it often adds more stress for me to hand it. I forget it at home, in the car, sometimes I have something in my purse and just forget to take care of it! It frustrates me when that happens, so it's easier for me to mail it 3) technology has taken over many things in our society, which is fine, I understand it's more convenient. But my Christmas cards is in a way my contribution to the post office and the good old fashioned mail, so I don't mind the extra stamp :)
  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I don't send a letter with the card, because I don't know what to say that doesn't come across either braggy or whiney.

I see many of my friends only once a year in the summer, and some years not even that. So in my card, I tell them how we are, what we have been doing during the past year, trips taken, special highlights, what is most important in the life of the kids.

I don't think it is braggy to mention that a kid went off to college, a kid has developed a strong interest in x and spends all the time doing x, that I still enjoy singing and had fun with certain performances, that we hiked in the CO mountains... that's just the stuff of our life.

I don't list my college kid's grades or my athlete's medals.

I don't think it is whiny to say I had a huge class this past semester, that I needed time adjusting to DD leaving home, that we have to drive a lot now for DS' athletic activities.

I don't list maladies or medical tests or tuition cost.

 

I am giving a snapshot of our lives in a nutshell.

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

 

I am giving a snapshot of our lives in a nutshell.

This year I said older ds transferred colleges, dd applied to colleges and kept up X activity and Y job, and younger ds still did A and B. I mentioned we enjoyed a trip together.

 

I didn't talk about accumulated awards and while I mentioned I enjoyed working at D and E  I didn't say I was tired and wished I didn't have to cobble together a bunch of jobs (I actually have three jobs, two are the same job for different organizations so my one sentence in my letter makes it sound I just have two jobs. You can give a snapshot without being whiney or braggy.  

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I receive Christmas cards a couple of weeks after Christmas- it's not too late!

 

A few friends have transitioned to New Year's cards. They're usually the Shutterfly kind with family pictures. Cute idea. 

 

Hmm, maybe for our 10th Christmas together I will do one with photos from all the past Christmases.  That should be fun!  (That will be Christmas 2017.)  I have some super favorite photos from when they were tots.  It will be nice to dust them off around the time the kids stop being cute.  :P

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Personally I think people who celebrate Christmas should send Christmas cards if they have the time.  Sometimes it's too much to fit in with everything else.

 

I really enjoy receiving Christmas cards, so I should send them.  Usually I manage to get it done, but not always.

 

I noticed that the number of cards has been dwindling lately.  I guess it's not really a thing any more.  That's kind of sad IMO.

But, what if you celebrate Christmas, yet honestly feel like cards are just clutter? I think that's my biggest issue. I don't collect the cards; I don't display them; I just look at them and they pile up until I toss them in the trash. 

To me, that's wasteful of paper and the persons time and money. I guess that's why I don't send them either. Just my own experience. :) 

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I guess I don't consider my life to be that interesting.  :P  I worked 365 days at the same jobs, my kids and I are a year older, they are one grade higher in school, they do the usual things kids do outside of school.  Brags:  we travel internationally, built an addition on our house, the kids do some things well.  Whines - I probably don't have any worth including in a letter to everyone (thankfully).

 

I guess I would do it if a big change happened, like a move, kid going to college or getting married, renouncing all materialism to go live in a Buddhist monastery for a year ....

Link to comment
Share on other sites

But, what if you celebrate Christmas, yet honestly feel like cards are just clutter? I think that's my biggest issue. I don't collect the cards; I don't display them; I just look at them and they pile up until I toss them in the trash. 

To me, that's wasteful of paper and the persons time and money. I guess that's why I don't send them either. Just my own experience. :)

 

I guess I would ask a few people.  "Do you like getting Christmas cards?"  I have had people make a point to tell me how much they appreciate receiving my cards and the photos I send with them.

 

I like getting them, and I'm pretty sure I'm not alone in that.

 

I had an old lady friend from childhood (not sure if she is still alive, she would be about 90 now).  When she learned I had kids, she started sending cards not only to me, but also to each of them, because she knows kids get pumped when they receive their own Christmas cards.  Last time I talked to her, she was still doing this for every kid and adult she knew (if she had their address).

 

I only send roughly 20 cards myself.  I get maybe about 10 or 12.

 

Is it a waste of paper, well, that depends on how you define waste.  I guess libraries are a waste of paper if you think about it.  But they make people happy.  So, not a waste IMO.

Edited by SKL
  • Like 4
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I don't send a letter with the card, because I don't know what to say that doesn't come across either braggy or whiney.

 

Sometimes I do write a short note inside, for a specific reason, but not in general to everyone.

 

A couple times I included a photo-card type thing that was self-explanatory. The first time was when my kids came home via adoption, and the wording was "introducing my gifts" with a their names and birth dates. Then last year, they rode horses in the Christmas parade, and there was a photographer taking orders for photo cards, so I did that. That is braggy enough, I think. :)

 

Now that I'm thinking about it, I am getting some fun ideas for photo cards. Hmm, I wonder if there is still time ....

Same here. I don't do letters for this reason. I used to write a little hand-written bit in there and sign by hand, but I have not done that in several years.

 

One year, my ancient Uncle Joe sent a little recipe in his Christmas card. I thought that was so dear. This uncle just died last week and I was thinking about that card; how special it was to get something unexpected from an elderly relative I rarely see.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I love getting Christmas cards in the mail and so I do send them out.  If someone who I didn't send one to sends me one, I will put one in the mail the next day for them.  If I didn't send any cards out at all I wouldn't do that though.  I also don't expect to get a card from everyone I send them to.  We always tape up all the cards onto our pantry door in the kitchen and the children and I love watching them accumulate over the month.  I have also noticed a decline in them, and it does make me a little sad. It's just not the same to scroll through FB and see someone's "Merry Christmas" post.  

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I guess I don't consider my life to be that interesting.  :p  I worked 365 days at the same jobs, my kids and I are a year older, they are one grade higher in school, they do the usual things kids do outside of school.  Brags:  we travel internationally, built an addition on our house, the kids do some things well.  Whines - I probably don't have any worth including in a letter to everyone (thankfully).

 

I guess I would do it if a big change happened, like a move, kid going to college or getting married, renouncing all materialism to go live in a Buddhist monastery for a year ....

 

Several older relatives have commented how much they enjoy seeing how children change and grow over the years via photo cards.  I always smile when I visit my aunt and see all the cards featuring grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and great-nieces and nephews decorating her refrigerator.  

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Several older relatives have commented how much they enjoy seeing how children change and grow over the years via photo cards.  I always smile when I visit my aunt and see all the cards featuring grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and great-nieces and nephews decorating her refrigerator.  

 

Yes, this. For many years, I sent a card and photo to an old "aunt" in Poland who was not really an aunt but a distant cousin of my Grandma. It was the only contact I had with her, but my mom spoke to her on the phone occasionally, and "aunt" always expressed how she loved hearing from me and receiving the photo of our family and how she appreciated that we think of her.

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I usually do a picture of our family and a letter with highlights of what has been going on around here, things big and small. I try to hit a nice balance so it isn't whiny or braggy. (I can only hope this is successful;-) We send about 200 a year, family is big, we have friends, colleagues, ex-colleagues, some of my old students, people we have met on trips, etc. I usually work very hard on our card. I am not one to send pix of just our kids. We get those so often. I know they are easy. But, for many of our friends and acquaintances, I don't always know their kids. And if I haven't heard from someone in a while, I would so much rather have a picture of them, than their kids. Of course, if they are nieces or nephews or kids who are close to us, I love having pictures. Even those are nicer though when they include the parents. I guess I am weird that way.

 

Anyway, I usually put a lot into our card so it serves as a connection for our friends and family.

 

But not this year:-(

 

I told dh I needed a break. I am tired. And over-extended with obligations that are not optional. I wanted to just skip it this year. I know, though, that the card is important to dh so we decided to just send a card with our names in it. I felt good about that. And now I am feeling bad about that because of this thread, lol. I don't like getting that kind of card either, and now I am sending it. I am having a hypocrite moment :D

 

As far as feeling obligated, we have such a big list that I don't really keep track of who sends us cards. If we get one from someone new, I try to reciprocate just because I think it is nice. I also update our list every year with anyone who seems card-worthy, lol. (Just a joke... I just keep an eye out for people who will probably be in our lives for a while.)

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Oh jeez. We must have posted at the same time. My kid comment was NOT directed at you. I was just musing about different card related things and doing a brain dump:-(

 

LOL I am just not photogenic.  Possibly some people would like to receive a photo of me, but I don't want to send one anyway.  :P

 

I am an in-between card person.  I don't put a lot of effort in.  But, it's more than most people in my family do, so I think it's fine.

 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...