I appreciate Christmas cards from friends and family as much as the next guy… or girl... or family. Because my parents were and always have been very social people, we used to get 75 or more every year. We would tape them to the wall almost as if they were decorative wallpaper on our hallway wall. Of course some cards looked cheap while others were beautiful works of art so we chose wisely. And generally, these were handwritten cards with personal notes that at least mentioned the names of the people in our family and were signed by the sender. Some even had unique paragraphs of writing customized for our family! It was an amazing time. But due to technology, things have changed.
These days, I tend to receive a picture of my friends’ kids and pets on a postcard lacking a real signature. The friend and spouse usually aren’t present although it would be nice to see their smiling faces too if I haven’t seen them in person recently. Sometimes friends create a nice write-up about their lives and although it's good to know what they’re up to, it’s still not personalized. I suppose these cards did take some effort and the people sending them took the time to make sure my address was right. Sometimes my name and address is handwritten too!
I don’t want to offend any of my friends that might send me one of these form picture cards. (Please don't take me off your card list.) But there’s something missing in a mass-produced card.
I may be guiltier than others for lacking Christmas effort since I send cards perhaps once every three years. I used to write personalized notes in each card but few others did so in return. And that takes a long time. I feel if it’s not a personalized card, I might as well send out e-cards or a Facebook wall post. But then, it’s the thought that counts. And a phone call is probably better anyway.