The Problem with Christmas Cards

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What’s your approach to Christmas cards?

I have a little bit of a problem with the whole concept of Christmas cards. Don’t get me wrong; I love receiving them, but I just think we’re kind of missing the point sometimes. The activity of sending Christmas cards should be enjoyable and should be a genuine expression of love and care for the people who receive them.
Unfortunately, too often the whole thing turns into:
1) an obligatory, stressful addition to the already stressful holiday season or
2) a high-pressure, once-a-year chance to really impress a lot of people you don’t even keep in touch with anymore.  
I know some people truly love taking the time to sit down and write out Christmas cards. And I know not everyone’s motivation is to have the most Pinterest-perfect family photo that will make the old college friends who receive their card in the mail think, “WOW!” But no matter what your approach is to Christmas cards, I think they’re worth some thought if you’re going to spend all the time and money to mail them out. 
I’d like to share six ideas to make your Christmas cards a little more meaningful this year: 
  1. Choose a card that actually focuses on Christ’s birth. Maybe that sounds obvious, but when I started looking on Shutterfly.com at designs available for this year, a lot of them actually had nothing to do with our Savior’s coming. 
  2. Buy the baby Jesus stamps. This is kind of an inside joke in my family, but if you’re going to buy Christmas postage stamps, you might as well buy the religious ones. You’ll make a statement about your values right on the envelope for all your friends to see before they even open your card.
  3. Write an actual note with an actual pen. I know, you’ve got 347 cards to send out, so typed-out address stickers and preprinted cards are about all you feel you can handle. I get it. But even if you just write one sentence, it will make your card that much more valuable to the person who receives it. Obviously, writing something faith-based is especially wonderful. 
  4. Be strategic about who you send cards to. Last year and this year, I decided to skip sending Christmas cards to family and friends, but strategically sent cards to a few people in my life who I thought might need the hope of Christmas. I put a lot of thought into the words I wrote in cards to my nutritionist, my mailman, etc. and included gift cards as thanks for all they do for me. You don’t need to remove your great aunt from your Christmas card list—bless her heart—but think outside the box as well and send cards to people in your life who might really need to hear what your Christmas card has to say. 
  5. Incorporate your faith into the newsletter you write. If you’re into the newsletter thing and plan to tell everyone all the glittering details about the past year of your life, take that opportunity to weave in your faith. Mention the Bible study you’ve been attending that’s become the highlight of your week. Even better, start your newsletter with a little “devotion” like my mom does. Dedicate the first couple sentences or the first paragraph to some heartfelt thoughts about the true meaning of Christmas and your prayers for everyone who’s receiving your newsletter.

    ​And my favorite:
  6. Pray over every card before you send it out. A couple years ago, my husband’s aunt told me she does this with every card. I hadn't even met her yet (she lived out of state), and I was beyond touched to know that she had prayed for me. What a great way to make sure you take the time at least once per year to pray for all the special people in your life.
What’s your approach to Christmas cards?

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