Wednesday, December 18, 2019

Christmas Cards: Reconnect With EVERYONE You’ve Met Over the Year

Christmas tradition
Do you send Christmas cards?
A few Decembers ago I was having lunch with a friend and asked him if he wrote Christmas cards.

“I don’t see the need for that,” he said dismissively.  “It’s really so self-centered.”

His assessment of this long-held tradition amused me.  We’ve all received the Christmas cards he's talking about: a collage of pristine, idyllic photos accompanied by a form letter parading the sender's super year. 

These cards don't feel like a "greeting" at all.  More like a showy display. 

Others forego sending cards simply because it's TOO MUCH.  Last year I eagerly anticipated exhausting my address book and sending out dozens of cards but FAILED due to a hectic schedule.

Hong Kong
I'll be in Hong Kong over Christmas and look forward to sending Christmas cards this year.  

Window For Connection

However, especially in this “year of travel”, I’ve come to an appreciation of just how many people come in and out of my life over twelve months.

In Seattle over the summer, I reconnected with a friend from college.  We hadn't seen each other in about ten years, and over chili cheese fries she told me all about her kids and career.  A few weeks later she sadly informed me that she’d be getting divorced.

In July, I attended my twenty-year high school reunion, and caught up with people I’ve known for ages but had been completely out of touch with.  It was great to hear how their lives had evolved.  

(It's funny how much people change; after the reunion I went out with one of the "skater dudes" from my class.  I don't think we ever spoke in high school, but over drinks at a sports bar found we actually have a lot of local friends in common.)  

And while traveling in the UK, Ireland, and Portugal, I met many travelers just like me—and locals as well.

Christmas provides a window of opportunity for connecting with all these people—to hear how they’re doing, recall memories of our time together, and wish them the best in 2020.

Without seizing these opportunities, it's so easy to lose track of people entirely.

Digital and Snail Mail

I loved these Sanrio cards.  My only misgiving is that there's hardly any space to write anything.  Guess I won't be giving a lengthy update in this Christmas card.  
I chose Hello Kitty and My Melody cards, as a tribute to the kawaii aesthetic so prevalent here in Hong Kong.  Plus I love Sanrio.  

And as nice as it is to receive snail mail, I don't have the current address of many friends, as they move or travel so frequently.   

However, I do have photographs of most of them, and of our time together.  So for these people I’ll create a Momento video.  I really enjoy this App (as I wrote about on previous post) that creates GIFs and videos from photographs.

Your Plans?

What about you?  Do you like to send cards at this time of year?  

Or does it feel like "just another thing" during this hectic holiday season?   


  1. Oh man, I did a bad job with Christmas cards this year @___@. Though, I don't think it is self-centered to send out Christmas cards. It is the thought that counts, that you're thinking of someone. I mean, I can kind of see your friend's thoughts - my aunt sent a Christmas card recently with a family picture in Paris where her sons were holding shopping bags from LV/Chanel. I was like "That flex".. but still appreciated that she thought of us.

    At the same time, it is a good connecting opportunity as well. Love your cards!! They're super cute!! You're making my inner child scream, hehe.

    Nancy ♥

    1. Yes, it feels great to receive thoughtful gifts and cards on Christmas--I think that's what the cards are all about. But I don't blame you for ix-naying it this year. This season can feel frantic sometimes.
      Ha, your aunt's Christmas card sounds hilarious!


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