Admittedly, I am old fashioned when it comes to Christmas cards. I love receiving them and I enjoy sending them. I include a chatty letter with the year’s highlights, adhere Christmas stamps, and start planning early.
One of my annual goals is to have our Christmas card design and an updated list of recipients well underway by Halloween. Many of our recipients move frequently, so address changes seem to always be a challenge.
The actual cards may not be sent until December but if I get the card plans underway early, I can turn my attention to gifts, decorating, and entertaining and baking a few holiday treats.
In days gone by, I used to craft homemade cards combining my scrapbooking skills with Jay’s art. These were definitely one-of-a-kind cards that some people kept for a long time. However, the cutting, pasting, and labor-intensive effort became too much.
I’ve migrated to the more current process of designing online that can create a very professional result. It’s easy to upload photos of your family and adventures. Those online services provide many templates that you can customize and if you’re early, you’ll receive a purchase discount coupon.
This year I’m experimenting with a postcard instead of the traditional cards that open since that seems to be the trend. My vendor, Vista Print, also offers free proofs and design service for simple assistance.
I’m happy to report that upon request, the graphic designer I was chatting with looked at the photos and adjusted the lighting which I truly appreciate. Many photos do not look the same comparing my computer screen, my printer, or professionally printed output.
Why do I go to all this trouble? I have been asking myself that question too.
One of my holiday joys is receiving cards from those from afar and especially people I only connect with via Christmas cards. I enjoy reading about their families, travels, joys, and even woes.
Cards are a way of transporting us through time and distance, celebrating the holidays in a basic way, and staying in touch via snail mail that few of us receive these days.
We send cards across the country from San Mateo, California to Medford, Oregon to Minneapolis, Minnesota to Leelanau, ichigan to Norfolk, Virginia to Dartmouth, Massachusetts and onto Bonita Springs, FL and Galveston, TX and all our Colorado friends. It feels like a nationwide connection even if it is just my joy.
I hope our cards are a simple gift I can give to others. Reaching out to far flung family and friends sends a message of “thinking of you.” I sent a Christmas card to my widowed Aunt Margaret who lived in a retirement home for many years. I knew she was lonely despite great care and a loving family.
After her death, her kids sent me a packet of Christmas cards, birth announcements, wedding invitations, birthday notes and similar that I had sent her. That was a stunning reminder that old fashioned communications can still mean a tremendous amount to recipients.
I intend to keep up this tradition and hope it brings a bit of joy to others.
By KAYE SULLIVAN – Special to the Herald Times