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Opinions about Christmas card signature with adult children


Kassia
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I am getting ready to make out Christmas cards and don't know what to do about my adult sons who have graduated from college and don't live with us anymore.  My oldest ds graduated several years ago and we just continued signing his name on our Christmas cards because he doesn't send out his own.  My other two sons graduated in May and have no interest in sending out Christmas cards.  None of them live at home, but they will all be home for a short time during the holiday season.  Would it be too weird for me to sign their names on our cards?  I am thinking it is at this point, but DH says to just go ahead and sign for them since they aren't sending out separate cards.  

 

 

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I think cards should come from people in the household. It’s okay if your adult children don’t send cards, that’s up to them, it if they are living on their own they shouldn’t be on your card. Of course it’s just my opinion and ultimately it probably doesn’t matter in the grand scheme of things.

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Of course it’s just my opinion and ultimately it probably doesn’t matter in the grand scheme of things.

 

It definitely matters to me!  Thank you for sharing your opinion - I appreciate it very much!  :)  I love coming here for advice. 

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I wouldn't sign their names on the cards, but I would sign it something like 'from the Lastname family'

This is one way to include the family, another might be to close with something like "with much love from our family to yours, [dh and your names]

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Other.

 

I don’t like cards where one person signs for multiple people. It’s so very impersonal.

 

Once our boys learned to write their names we each signed any card that we sent. If they weren’t available to sign then their name didn’t go on the card. We continue that now with them in college. They were home over Thanksgiving so I got them to sign some birthday cards that will be mailed over the next couple of weeks, as well as the few Christmas cards we send. I’ll likely keep that up whenever it works out that they’re available to sign. But sign for them? Ick. No way. That hasn’t happened since they were preschoolers.

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When people sign the names of kids who have moved on (post-college), it kind of seems to me like they are holding onto the past and not really embracing their present reality. I realize that's a big leap to make but there you go. I would sign from "The ___ Family" or (maybe better) "from John and Susie" (or whatever your names are). There is actually something sweet and grounding about the reminder that after the birds fly the nest, the couple is still an entity all by themselves. 

 

Oh, I see you have a dd at home. I would sign her name along with yours.

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Other.

 

I don’t like cards where one person signs for multiple people. It’s so very impersonal.

 

Once our boys learned to write their names we each signed any card that we sent. If they weren’t available to sign then their name didn’t go on the card. We continue that now with them in college. They were home over Thanksgiving so I got them to sign some birthday cards that will be mailed over the next couple of weeks, as well as the few Christmas cards we send. I’ll likely keep that up whenever it works out that they’re available to sign. But sign for them? Ick. No way. That hasn’t happened since they were preschoolers.

 

They do sign for close family (I actually had them do this when they were home for Thanksgiving), but I sign for all the other cards we send.  Like you, I have birthday cards ready early so they can sign when they are home.  But, based on responses here, I think it's time to give that up.  

 

 

 

How about "Bob and Nancy and family"?  That could include anybody!

 

This is a great idea.  Usually I sign with my name and DH's on top, and then include the kids underneath that.  But this would work better if we wanted to include them.  

 

 

 

Thank you so much for all the responses!  It's pretty clear to me that I should not be signing for all of us anymore!  

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I agree it is weird to do it if your kids want to be done with it, but I think it's fine if they are okay with it. My reasoning is that sending out cards is so expensive and laborious. When I was a college kid, and then establishing myself afterwards, I was so broke! I was also very busy, and because of school, family, and church connections, I would have had a lot of cards to make out. I distinctly remember standing in the card aisle, trying to figure out the cheapest way to meet that obligation. When I started calculating the price of stamps, I just gave up. I would have loved to just be included by my parents. My parents often include us still when sending flowers to a funeral, or something like that. I'm thankful they do because I've not always been able to spend money on societal expectations, but it makes my heart ache to feel loved ones may feel forgotten or that I don't care enough. If it is ok to go in with another person for a gift, I say it's okay to go in on a card.

Edited by Guinevere
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yes- it's weird for you to sign the names of people who do not live in your house - as if they were still children under your roof and protection.

 

I've always thought little odd when I've received them. Once I got one that was "signed" with two grown children that had been out of the house for years. One was in the last year of med school residency and the other had graduated from college, been in the workforce, and was back in law school. They probably didn't have a clue their mom was doing it.

 

If grown, adult children have no interest in sending out Christmas cards, I don't understand the desire to do it for them. 

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I think that just like any other adult that doesn't live in your home, you shouldn't be signing cards in their name.

 

I realize it's different because they are your children that you raised, but you need to think of them as adults now.   

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They're adults who've flown the nest. If you've been signing for them in the past, I'd get out of the habit now. First of all, it acknowledges present reality: they're adults, they're gone, they can handle their own correspondence in any manner they choose. Second, I don't believe in signing other people's names. The card is written by me, and sometimes DH, and the signatures reflect that, maybe with an &Family tacked on because the kids are little. Third, (and this is a little silly, but hear me out), what if you accidentally sign for them the first year they're married, and suddenly become that MIL. I'd have gone ballistic if my mom or MIL had done that early in my marriage. I was about your kids' age then too. Just imagine the sorts of forum posts about boundary-stomping MILs that would lead to. :lol:

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Third, (and this is a little silly, but hear me out), what if you accidentally sign for them the first year they're married, and suddenly become that MIL. I'd have gone ballistic if my mom or MIL had done that early in my marriage. I was about your kids' age then too. Just imagine the sorts of forum posts about boundary-stomping MILs that would lead to. :lol:

 

Eek!  I would never let that happen!  I'm very careful and respectful of my kids' relationships and boundaries!  

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Eek!  I would never let that happen!  I'm very careful and respectful of my kids' relationships and boundaries!  

 

and then you get rushed, and are in a hurry and not really thinking about what you're doing.  happens all. the. time. during the holidays.

 

I recently sent a pkg to dd . . . I addressed it to her in her maiden name.   :leaving: 

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... I'd be careful about what info I included about them if the card included a letter, since their info is their story to tell. I'd sign it "the Smiths".

 

We send out a holiday letter with all of our cards.  Our daughter has been out of the house for years, but I get a paragraph written by her to include in the letter.  I sign the card with all of our names.

 

Regards,

Kareni

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Many of the young adults in my family don't send Christmas cards, or didn't until they got married. Some of the older folks don't, either. I think that's fine. Signing an adult child's name to your card could be perceived as diminishing of their autonomy and could suggest that there's something wrong with not sending out cards during certain seasons in one's life. Early adulthood is certainly one of those seasons in my extended family! (And I doubt anyone will receive your card and think, "Oh, gee, so her adult sons don't want me to have a merry Christmas? How insulting." I don't think the absence of their names will demonstrate anything other than that they no longer live at home and you trust that they can take care of their holiday greetings in whatever way they see fit!)

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Once they no longer live at home, they no longer are on the Christmas cards. The cards are usually from the household. An adult child living elsewhere is no longer part of the household. I went through this with dss when dh thought we should continue to put his name on our cards. Whether those adult children send cards or not is on them, not you.

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I'd just ask them. If they'd like to be included do so. If they are planning on sending holiday greetings on their own, great. If not, the question could spur them to do so if they hadn't thought of it or not, either way.

 

I would never judge anyone who included or did not include a grown child's name on their card.

 

In some families there may be a few elderly relatives that might feel forgotten if they didn't receive any greetings from the adult children and the adult children weren't mentioned in a parent's greeting card. A special exception might need to be made for them.

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We don't send any cards anymore, and we stopped doing the summary letters when our family crashed and burned. I just want to say it is really so nice of you all to continue sending cards! (And I like hearing about my friends' adult kids in those letters, but I wouldn't sign for adults.)

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