Saturday, November 02, 2013

Save Yourself, Save The World

Pressure Busting Tip #2

Let me start by telling you a little story.  For years and years, I had a delightful neighbor Michelle whom I adored.  We had a great relationship.  Our houses are painfully close, so I was grateful that we got along so well, yelling across the driveway, my kids babysitting her son, each of us acting as Keymasters for each other.  But the one thing that absolutely killed me was this:  every December, I would get a Christmas card in the mail from her.  Yep.  She would actually mail me a Christmas card.  I find two things silly about this:  1.  She saw me every single day.  Just say, "Hey, Nance.  Can Jared or Sam babysit Ryan on Friday?  Oh, and Merry Christmas!"  2.  If she still thought a card was necessary, just walk over and put it in my mailbox.  Duh.

So.  Here is your Pressure Busting Tip for today, in this age of Super-Connectedness thanks to cellphones, email, e-cards,Twitter, Facebook, Skype, Face Time, and the Interwebs.  Unless it truly, truly gives you pleasure, give up on the sending of Christmas Cards.  It's a nice tradition; it really is.  But it's a timesuck.  And if you think about it, it is another glut of wastepaper for our environment.  You could set up a blog in very little time and use your FB account to direct people to it as a special online card with a short message.  You could be altruistic and donate your saved postage and card money to a bellringer.  At the very least, you could streamline your card list to only those very distant friends and relatives whom you know you will not see at Christmas. 

Give yourself this gift of time.  You deserve it, and the world and your network of friends and loved ones will not collapse.  And best of all, neither will you.



  1. I am one of those people who really enjoys sending cards for all occasions, esp. birthdays. I don't even celebrate Christmas (as a religious holiday) but I often send cards. However, I often find myself hand delivering cards to people who live close by. People LOVE it and it saves me money so WIN WIN!!!! :)

  2. I'm not sure on this one Nance. I mean, I know it would save time, I know it would save $$, but I'm just not sure if I can go without sending cards. Sigh. I love to send them, and I love to receive them, too. :)

  3. J@jj--But J, that's why I said, "Unless it truly, truly gives you pleasure give up sending Christmas Cards." I know people who do it, not for enjoyment, but out of obligation. It becomes a chore. Period. Like cleaning toilets.

    Then there are the people who revel in it. Like my mother. She sets up a card table like it's a command post. She lays everything out, selects the perfect card for each recipient, writes a personal note on each, keeps a complex checkmark system for who sent last year, who didn't, etc., and uses stickers to match her cards. It's impressive. I would kill myself before I did that.

    I used to send cards, probably 15 years ago. It wasn't my thing.

    Teacher Patti--Hey there! I know a lot of Card People. As you can guess, I am not one. As kids, we used to make each person in our class a Christmas card from the torn-off fronts or cut-out pieces of last year's cards from people. We'd glue them onto construction paper, add embellishments, write in them, and take them in to school. It was fun. I don't know how my mom had time for all that and everything else she did. At that time, she didn't work outside the home, but she did a ton of holiday stuff.

  4. As I stated previously about my lazy tendencies, I put as little effort into sending Christmas cards as possible, which is probably why I still enjoy sending them out.

  5. Gina--Whatever works for you!

  6. Nance, I would enjoy sitting with your mom and doing cards. I am a fan of the hand written note. Catching up with people about whom I do still genuinely care, but with whom this is now our only communication. Even if all I write is "Peace and joy to you this coming year", that's better than pre-printed names on the front of a card. Not that I mind GETTING the pictures with a pre-printed name on the front. I don't, I enjoy them, esp if the kids are growing, etc. But when I send, I feel like I want to put some love into the card.

  7. And gosh, you're right. I ignored the bright blue bold there, the part about "Unless it gives you pleasure". I think I was so horrified about the idea of missing out that I freaked a bit.

  8. J@jj--And St. Patsy would absolutely love having you. She is yearly shocked and appalled that I do not send cards. Susan, my baby sister, still does. (And she sends one to me, which cracks me up. I see her all the time.) Patti, my elder sister, does not send them, but my mother gives her a pass for a variety of reasons, most of which could be reasons for me, but she is oblivious to that. Patti is her favourite, so anything she does is perfect. And every year, my mother says, "Nance, now did you remember to send Uncle So and So a card?" and I say, "Mom. I haven't sent cards in ten years."And she says, "Oh Nance! Is that true? Really? But you always used to! And everyone loved your cards and your letter. Now why can't you just send out a card?" Sigh. I'm such a disappointment.

  9. We write an Annual Christmas Poem which we've always included in cards. Some years I MADE the cards. All 80 of them. I quit doing that Thank God (really - I thank God I came to my senses). But I know that there would be a Wave of Sadness Across the Land if we didn't send out our annual poem in a card. Email just wouldn't be the same.

    Which reminds me - I need to check & see whose turn it is to write the poem this year. I'm very much afraid that it's me. How's this?

    Christmas is red
    Hanukkah's blue
    Happy happy holy days
    To you and you and you!

  10. Bug--I love the poem. Short, sweet, lighthearted...what's not to like? Print it off on some colored stock and send it off. Done.

    Next year...?

  11. I do enjoy sending cards, but have given myself permission to opt out some years. For a couple of years, it seemed like we were always stuck in the ER or hospital in early December and addressing cards was actually helpful in passing the time in a pleasant way. I really like choosing a small group of very special cards and giving those to dear friends, in person, when possible.

  12. Shirley--I guess I don't get the whole point of Christmas cards, then. I always thought the idea was to send Christmas greetings to those far away; that cards were for those whom you could not give greetings to in person. Now I'm really flummoxed by you and TeacherPatti's responses.

    But I won't perseverate on it. I don't send cards, no matter what.


Oh, thank you for joining the fray!

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