It’s been about 10 years since I sent Christmas cards out via Canada Post. Each December, I would refer to a spreadsheet on my computer labeled 'Christmas Card Addresses' and then sit at the kitchen table writing, “Merry Christmas! Love the Kucharuk family” over and over and over again until my hand cramped up.
The lucky ones received perfectly legible cards; others received gibberish. It’s the thought that counts right?
The cards would sit in my car for a week because I would forget to take them to the post office. So many steps to this Yuletide tradition! Sometimes, I would remember to send them out before Christmas, sometimes they went out in the New Year.
One year I just decided no more darn Christmas cards, and I quit cold turkey. As a consequence, I haven’t received a Christmas card since. That’s the rule I guess. You send someone a Christmas card and they feel obligated to send one back. It's like a weird chain letter situation.
I can imagine one of my elderly aunties reviewing their Master List of received Christmas Cards, their hand hovering over the ‘Did Not Receive’ checkbox. They might have given me the benefit of the doubt the first year, but after the second I would have been crossed off the master list with the swipe of a ballpoint pen.
I made that bed and now my fake fireplace mantel is devoid of cards.
Which brings me to the next question – where does a person put all of those cards that they receive? Where do you place those cards to give them the reverence that they deserve?
Someone spends hours upon hours writing in those cards, placed them in an envelope, drove to the post office to purchase stamps, probably ate Kraft Dinner for a week because of the expense of purchasing the stamps, and now you're going to tuck them inside the China cabinet where no one can see them? Blasphemy!
Do you place the cards on your Christmas tree? Do you stretch a piece of string across one wall in your living room and hang the cards on the string? Do you actually have a mantel where the cards can have a place of honour? Do you hold each card in your hands and say to yourself, Marie Kondo style, “Does this give me joy?” And if it doesn’t, do you place it immediately in the recycling?
You see – THAT is why I quit sending Christmas cards. I’m actually doing friends and long lost relatives a favour by not sending them a card and putting them through the stress of figuring out what to do with my card.
Judy Kucharuk is a lover of sarcasm, witty people and footnotes. Follow her on Twitter @judylaine.
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