Claire Martin

Christmas Communications – by Claire

So far this year I’ve received just 10 Christmas Cards, and 3 of those are signed-sincerely-by-the-office “corporate” cards. And I’m kinda bummed.
Let me back up here.
My annual Christmas routine USED to include 2-3 evening weekends, in late November and early December, spent diligently writing close to 200 Christmas cards. I always added a personal note. I always added a Christmas letter. Though it was a pain in the arse to physically write and sign all these cards – I loved the routine. And just as importantly, I loved the cards that I got back. I loved the connection I felt, to friends and family spread literally around the world.
There’s still something quintessentially delightfully “old fashioned” about getting hand written mail.
I kept 3 pages of lists of names of people (family and friends) that were annually added -or sadly dropped off- the Christmas card list. Don’t get me wrong. It was a chore. But it was a rewarding, ultimately “connecting” chore.
That all said – Christmas card sending is going the way of pennies, lamplighters and Blockbusters! There’s simply no need to send a paper card via snail mail when you can send an e-mail and connect (virtually) instantly.
So why am I a little sad at all this?
I mean, the cost alone is prohibitive. A single stamp to England is $2.50 – and I have all my family, everyone, in the “old country”. And I understand that it’s not particularly “Green” of me to have trees cut down for such a frivolous use.
But I am a little sad.
I loved the notes. I loved the family updates. I loved the cards.
But wait.. there’s a happy end to all this (it is Christmas after all!). My seriously technically challenged family has managed to jump on an App (yes a mobile phone App) that can connect us all. And this year (for the second year in a row) have decided that all of us must send the whole group a Christmas-related photo every day for the entire month of December.
My cousins live in Norway – the scenery is breathtaking;
My brother is in London – his shots of my city twinkling and sparkling make me smile and a little homesick;
My mother – who doesn’t understand the task nor the App, sends strange shots while shopping!
I love it when my phone chimes.. and I glance down and see another new “card”.
It is, after all, the most wonderful time of the year!
– Claire
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  • Reply Lisa December 24, 2016 at 1:26 am

    I’d love to know what app that is! Thanks.

  • Reply Cairine Green December 27, 2016 at 9:52 pm

    Thanks Claire for your blog reflections, especially at this time of year. Was thinking of you because I am a melanoma survivor of 38 years. Wanted to let you know that melanoma, with timely intervention, has very good results. All the best to you for 2017.

  • Reply Jane January 6, 2017 at 12:02 pm

    I, too, love writing and receiving “snail mail”. It shows effort and caring, I think. But the app you mention could be a great addition to the Christmas routine. Most of us are visual learners so seeing what the sender is seeing can make for a fabulous connection. Maybe even extend it to once a week, all year long?

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