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As much as I love walking down to the mailbox and finding something other than credit card offers, bills, and Arby’s coupons, part of me wonders whether we really need Christmas cards in 2015. Now before you declare me an enemy combatant in the War on Christmas, let me save face by owning up to the fact that I shelled out an undisclosed amount of money for Christmas cards this year. It’s undisclosed because I’ve chosen not to look at the damage, and I had absolutely no choice in the matter. It’s a newlywed couple’s rite of passage, and that’s a fight I’m not looking for right now. Just smile and nod.
But I have to wonder, why are we still doing these?
Oh, that’s right — we need to keep our friends and family in the loop because were it not for this photo and 500-word writeup, they’d have no idea what was going on in our lives. If only there was a way to stay connected with the world on a daily basis that allowed us to post flattering photographs and wildly embellished narratives about our lives. Wait…am I offering up the mild take that social media is just a year-round Christmas card? Pretty much, yeah.
It’s 2015, and every member of your family under 50 is on Facebook or Instagram. Hell, I work with a guy whose mother-in-law is on Snapchat, which sounds like the worst thing ever.
My point is that everyone already knows you were in New Orleans three different times this year because some asshole checked you into the Goldmine Saloon each time you strolled in there, dead-eyed and sub-human. Sure, they have no clue that you left your debit card there twice and threw up in the trashcan on the right side of the bar, but you probably weren’t going to share that anyway.
This is a radical idea, but what if instead of typing up a year in review, you pull out your mobile device or landline, and make a fucking phone call? Maybe that’s too real, and there are variables involved with human interaction that you don’t have with a family press release, but it could be worth a shot.
Let’s get real — you’re only fretting over which pic properly showcases your cheekbones and his jawline because you’re immersed in a low-key arms race with every single one of your married friends. From the moment you opened Jennifer and John’s hilariously perfect card, you knew it was on. Two golden retrievers and an infant? And the fucking dogs are looking at the kid while standing over him in a protective manner? That’s some high heat, and you have to respond.
Because heaven forbid you maybe, just maybe, don’t send a Christmas card. It’s not like you’re going to top that pic of you and your better half standing in front of a brick wall looking disinterested in an edgy part of town, anyway. Why try? Unless you had some work done recently, everybody already knows what you like like.
Look, I get that there’s a classic quality to giving and receiving something tangible through the mail (letters and packages conveyed by the postal system) delivered by a mailman (a person who is employed to deliver and collect letters and parcels). And I’m well aware that no matter what, your parents and grandparents are going to hold it against you if you fail to send them one, even if you see them often –and live in the same state — or in the same city. That’s just part of the deal you made with them when they raised you, helped you move into a dorm, and loaned you money after you overdrew your account in Vegas.
Deep down, there’s a little bit of good in all of us. Crafting Christmas cards is a harmless, well-intentioned, dying art, and there’s something romantic about keeping a tradition alive. We all want to keep in touch more, even if it means you’ll be sending a “what’s your new address” text because your friends change jobs and relocate every six months. You know what? Let’s keep doing the card thing. A little unspoken competition never hurt anyone, and what else are you going to put in that random wicker basket?.
Image via YouTube