Several years ago, while I was still teaching public school, I decided that the best and easiest way to have a less stressful holiday season was to let go of doing the things that caused me the most stress. Christmas is not a test that we have to pass. We don’t get a grade at the end of the season for how well we completed all the tasks society has given us. For me, the first task that had to go was sending cards. I’m a hypocrite in this and admit it. I LOVE to get mail. I HATE to send it. I dislike looking up addresses, going and buying stamps, mailing things out.It irritates me. So, I quit sending cards.
Well, that’s not completely true, there are a few that I still send out because I choose to do so. But I do not have a list of 20 – 200 people that I never see or talk to that I feel it will ruin their Christmas season to not get a card from me. I send to those whom I have an interest in keeping in touch and faithfully send us cards – leading me to believe that it is important to them.
I also try to within the month of January write little notes to my students who bring me gifts. Children love mail and again – I’m doing it for them not because I think it is a necessary part of society’s holiday checklist.
That said, I do like to get cards and appreciate the ones we get. I especially enjoy getting the pictures of my students and of friends children. It is fun to see how they have grown and the unique and creative ways people put their cards together. For those I do not keep in touch with on Facebook or in real life, it is nice to hear from them. However, I can honestly say that I don’t think my holiday spirit would be diminished if everyone quit sending cards.
There are some neat things to do with cards after the holidays are over. Ever the crafter, we have turned them into gift tags for next year (cut out decorative parts with pinking shears or craft scissors), ornaments (cut out picture and glue on canning jar seals), picture books (laminate and punch holes in the side tying together with yarn). What else can you do with them? I’d love to hear from you.