Return To Sender


You have to sing that title . . . just saying.

Every year I go to a lot of effort to order my Christmas cards, address 25-50 envelopes, and mail them off to my family and friends.  Why do I go through all that effort?  (1) To show off my handsome husband and baby (just being honest here), and (2) because doesn’t everyone love mail?

But the last couple of years I’ve started to wonder if the recipients of my Christmas cards send out cards themselves or not.  Because even though I send out the aforementioned 25-50 cards, I only ever get about 5-10 cards back.

I always used to think that maybe people these days just aren’t doing good old fashioned Christmas cards anymore, and I think that’s a pity.  Who doesn’t appreciate a Christmas card, I ask you?  People should send them out more.

But this year I keep reading comments from bloggers about how they love coming in with a Christmas card when they get the mail every day during the second half of December – and I’m wondering, maybe it’s not that people don’t send out cards, maybe it’s just that my people don’t?  Either that, or they are ignoring me, but I don’t think they would do that when I send them a card every year.

I’m talking about the people on my Christmas card list in general, not anyone in particular.  You would think I’d get a better percentage back than 20%.  There’s that line about “The best way to spread Christmas cheer is singing loud for all to hear.”  But in my book that should say “The best way to spread Christmas cheer is sending Christmas cards for all to read(?)”.  I know, not as catchy, but true.

And you should know that if you have sent me a Christmas card in the past, I get excited over every one.  I seriously do.  In fact, I have yet to throw one out, and this is my fourth Christmas as a married lady.  I’m not sure if there is a person who appreciates Christmas cards more than I do (well, there probably is, but I don’t know them).

My grand total for this year is up to 2 cards at the time of this writing.  How sad.  I’m sure more are in the mail as I type, right?

Please tell me I’m not the only one who has a major card sending/card receiving discrepancy.


I joke and make it sound worse than it is, and it’s true that I’m slightly bummed about not getting more cards, but also please note that I really enjoy sending them out every year, and I’ll continue to do so even if I don’t get a single card back!  I’d be disappointed if that happened, but After all, it is more blessed to give than to receive!

And I will remind myself of that if this year’s numbers continue on their current projection . . .

P.S.  Also note that I would have sent you each a card, but budget and Shutterfly’s card promotion numbers did not allow it this year . . . I know you guys would probably at least send me one back if I were able to send you one!

Also, thank you Melanie for sending me your card, because I wasn't expecting it and it totally made my day!

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Bridget said...

Oh Callie....I hear ya! I struggled a lot with Christmas card sending this year. The past few years it has become such a burden, and attaching the word burden to anything having to do with Christmas is really against anything I do want the season to represent.
This year I simplified (plus had to be frugal)- my initial plan was to get photo greeting cards, but the more I had to order the more expensive it became so instead I just printed off a bunch of 4 x 6 (had a coupon) sent them out in cards (some I already had from previous years) and printed out my labels, plus a short message printed on a label so they were actually pretty easy...all the labels I already had and it ended up being much cheaper than initially planned.

Each year I also look at my list and wonder who I should purge off of it. One thing really left me thinking yesterday as I was finishing addressing them....I kept wanted to skip names on the list, but as I thought about taking some of them off it made me realize how selfish I was being. Some of them may never send me a card, but they are family so I still send them one (even if I don't want to) but what really got to me was my attitude behind it. I only wanted to send them one, if they sent one back to me. I realized how selfish my heart was in that moment. Not saying yours is...this was just my own realization of myself. In future years I may purge some names and not feel bad about it, but this particular year, my reasons were selfish. So I didn't purge any names. In fact I sent out a few more!
I think the one that hit me most was my friend, who has an almost 3 year old daughter. His wife passed away when his daughter was about 9 months old, and I rarely hear from him, and just when I get to the point of wondering if I will ever hear from him again, I'll get a random text message that asks how we are doing. I stared at his address on my list, wanting to remove it, but then just realized that this is what Christmas is about. Even if I rarely talk to him, I want him to know that our family cares for him and that we are there for him and if a picture of my hubby and I with a really cute baby girl doesn't bring a smile to someones face then I don't know what will!

I hope this helps! I don't say it to make you feel bad. It's just how I felt this year. Made me have a little bit more joy in filing the cards out, though it seems like you enjoy doing it regardless!

Jamie Leigh said...

I can totally relate to this post! I sent out a ton, but so far have about 10 on my fridge..maybe we are just more organized than most and get them out sooner :)

Nicole said...

I'm so opposite from you.
My husband doesn't let me keep anything sentimental. He's the opposite of a hoarder. LOL. So, we end up throwing out our Christmas cards at the end of the season. I feel bad and honestly would rather not get any at all. When I throw out the cards, I feel like i'm throwing out people's money!
So... don't bother sending me one... (not that you were going to)... but even if we become blogger BFF's... don't send me one... EVER!

Katie said...

We're at about 30% return rate at this point haha. My husband's family is big on the Christmas cards so we've received quite a few. I know not everyone sends out cards, and some of those we sent were to friends still in college who I don't expect to send them. But I do like getting cards! We get about one a day and that makes me smile. Picture cards are my favorite!

Natalie said...

We have more than 2 but we definitely do not get nearly as many as we send!!!

Venessa said...

totally hear you on this one. My hubby made a comment about it the other day. i think most people love getting cards in the mail! I try to keep up with it especially in a day in age when everything is going electronic...its nice to get fun mail in the box!

deanna@delirious-rhapsody said...

we have had to stop sending out so many cards just because stamps have become so expensive. :-/ we have had to cut out a lot of the little expenses in life.

Alaina Beth said...

My numbers are way off too. For me, I'm pretty sure it is because we have moved so many times in the last few years and people just don't know where we live. But also, I do think many people don't send the cards anymore. And I agree, it makes me sad.

Melissa said...

I LOVE doing Christmas Cards! It's seriously my favorite thing! Last year & the year before, I sent about 75. I know it's a lot, but I have too many family & friends! Haha!

This year (because of money issues), I only got the free 25 from Shutterfly & then made a bunch of homemade cards because I couldn't cut my list down to 25! I STILL ended up cutting people & I hated it - whether they get me a card or not, doesn't matter.

I've gotten probably 15 in return (& did the last two years too). I'd say this is probably normal. I do not think most people send out cards. I try to understand that not everyone likes doing this. I love cards all the time - Christmas, but also birthdays & thinking of you cards. I'm just a card person! So I don't worry about how many i get back. (Although if I only got 2, i'd be upset too!)

I also get excited about every one that I receive!

Lydia said...

I feel the same way!! Getting cards in the mail is one of my favorite things during Christmastime. We usually send 50-75 cards and maybe end up with 15-20. And actually most of the people that we get them back from are friends who have been married in the last 5 years and have adorable babies to show off!

LeAnna said...

You are SO right. The sad (well, not really sad...) thing is that I get more cards from my blog friends than I do real life people. That chaps my hide. Seriously, Hubby is always like "Who are these people????" :P

Buuut, I keep on sending them, regardless if they send them back (or even acknowledge them, that's another pet peeve, when you send people a Christmas card and they don't have the courtesy to say thanks....) but, I digress.... ;)

Jessica said...

This year has been hard, but some things just aren't going to happen. The semester was stressful, and I'm still finishing up applying to grad schools, and I just don't want this to be a stressful time. So I've decided not to do Christmas cards this year. I've also cut back the amount of cookies I usually make. It's sad, and I feel like a Scrooge, but I just couldn't find time and/or money! Oh well, I may do it next year, or maybe not until we have a baby.

But yeah, even on the years I send them out, I do send out more than I receive.

Jenni Lynn said...

I have a lot of the same feelings about sending out so many cards and feeling like not very many people (or at least my people) send one in return). My biggest pet peeve though is when we get Christmas Cards that are only signed, no photo, no note, just a cheesy generic card with a signature (or sometimes not even signature)......sigh, I guess it is just not as important to everyone. But I love love love getting cards in the mail, so it would be fun to exchange cards with you!

Melanie said...

I know what you mean! I seem to send out alot of cards (to the same people 99% of the time) and don't receive that many back either. It is a big disappointment..but the ones I do receive does bring a big smile to my face! Glad you got my card and liked it!!! :-)

Felicia said...

Oh I hope you got my card!! We got yours and I proudly put it on the wall :) I love Wyatt's little grin.

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