Monday, December 13, 2010

Christmas card politics

Although the holidays can be tough, one thing that makes them more bearable, in addition to my Christmas tree, is sending and receiving holiday cards. But, the whole endeavor can become so political, don't you think?

I send about 100 cards each year to a random assortment of folks. All of Brad's and my extended family members receive one, regardless of our relationship or communication (or lack of on both counts) with them. I've never removed a family member from my Christmas card spreadsheet, although I've been tempted to at times. We receive few cards from family members compared to the number we send, but we still feel obligated to send them. Go figure.

I send cards to a handful of Brad's and my childhood and college friends (and in some cases, their parents), but not to all of them. I also send cards to a handful of friends we've made here in DC, but again, not to everyone. And to be honest, I have absolutely no idea what determines the selection. I have no rubric. I have no A list or B list. I do keep a spreadsheet that I use from year to year, so once someone makes it on, he or she is probably on it for life. One sure way to get on my spreadsheet is to send us a holiday card. I can't bear to not return the nicety.

Occasionally, I'll have to delete people because they died (sad) or moved and left no forwarding address. A college friend and I have faithfully exchanged Christmas cards each year since we graduated in 1996. Although we haven't communicated much since then, our Christmas cards have always managed to find each other despite cross-country moves and married names.

What Christmas card politics do you deal with? Who makes your holiday card list? And how do you decide?


Caitlin {Pacifier In My Pocket} said...

I can't believe you send out almost 100 Christmas cards this year! I don't think I even sent out 20. Wow!

Katie said...

I'm kind of with you...sort of random in terms of friends. But I will take off/put on family depending on my feelings that year.

Doctor Blondie said...

I have sent none this year. I have forgotten to bring my address book with me to England. But usually the Christmas card thing just reminds me of how few people I have left, and it makes me sad.

Stack said...

I, too, send out at least 100 cards a year. And to add to this task because of my design background, I feel somewhat obligated to make them myself instead of buy them from a store or order from a photo site. Not to mention when yuo're sending that many it's actually cheaper to make them on my own thenpony up the $1/card at places like Shutterfly or the like. That said, I'm in kind of a quandry with my list this year. I have a random group I send to. Old neighbors, college and grade school friends, family, former coworkers, etc. But I'm faced with the question of who to send cards to from my soon-to-be ex's family...I typically create cards that have one photo on them, though one person may receive a different photo than the next. And because it's usually a photo of my daughter, I'd like to think they'd still want to receive a card, but I also don't want them to receive a card that brings up negative feelings toward me about the divorce and take offense or feel like I'm throwing it in their face either. So that's my drama this year. The photos areordered...this weekend will be spent assembling cards and hopefully havign them ready to go on Monday...we will see!

Aimee @ Smiling Mama said...

My list is about as long as yours. The funny thing is that I am 100% in charge of the entire process but I send a lot more cards to Abel's college friends than my own. I guess to a certain extent I like his friends better, go figure! Once upon a time, I was the person who mailed my cards over Thanksgiving. Now I'm sweating if they will even arrive in time for me to address, stamp and mail them before Christmas! Yours, my friend, was the first card we received both this year and last--kudos!

VA said...

I love sending holiday cards out to friends and family. I want people to know we think about them - even if once a year to some family members - ha! We send out 115 and the list grows each year but each one we like to write a handwritten note - even if short - to make it a more meaningful card. I am like you I do feel bad when I get a card and didn't send them one - eek! BUT makes me feel good to know they thought of me and for that moment we will think of them and send one back to them.