snail mail 1, technology 0
comparatively, not many people mail christmas cards to others anymore. to young people, the tradition feels antiquated, and technology makes sending a holiday hello or e-greeting that much easier. therefore, going the distance to actually send a physical piece of mail makes you seem like the coolest person in the world! (or so i like to imagine :). as with sending snail mail any other time of year, the sheer act of doing so makes it look like you've gone above and beyond.
enjoy the process
personally, i love to send christmas cards, as evidenced here, here and here. as with everything else i do, it's more about the process than the actual task or item itself. i put time aside, craft with friends, and draw up ideas of what my cards will look like. that way it remains full of enjoyment and doesn't become a chore.
i don't really feel any sense of obligation when it comes to who i send christmas cards to. i don't think there needs to be any hurt feelings based on whether someone does or doesn't send/receive a greeting. this is probably easier to avoid nowadays since the act itself is rare. but honestly, i just send cards to people i've felt close to that year - and my list changes every christmas!
there does seem to be a connection between marriage, and family that adds you to other's christmas card lists. which seems funny to me.
when i send cards, i am still trying to train myself to address it to both parts of a couple. i don't know why but i have trouble remembering that even though the woman may have been my friend originally, her husband or partner is important too! though for anyone sending me mail - i can pass on the "mr. and mrs. jonathan webb" addressing. my husband is important...but i am too! i've taken to signing our own return address as "the patient webbs" - a fun play on our last names.
the word "message" really speaks for itself here. maybe it's just me but i think that if i'm going to go through the effort of choosing or making a card, paying for postage and walking to the post office...i might as well take the time to write a couple sentences before i sign my name. i love getting cards but i must admit it's somewhat disappointing to open them up and not have anything to read besides the canned "season's greetings" message. whenever possible i try to personalize my message to the person i'm sending the card to.
the card itself
okay, this one might be up for debate. i really do believe that sending a card at all is awesome sauce. but some cards seem so generic that they barely hide the fact they were purchased at a bulk foods store half off the year before. they don't have any charm or pizazz or thought at all. i'm just saying i like when a card is beautiful, unique, handmade and even comes with a jazzy envelope! below are some of the cards i've received this year - and what a great lot indeed!
yes, sending christmas cards costs money. so does buying them, and even making them. but let's say you spend two or three dollars on a card and postage - maybe that few dollars can be taken off the cost gift you get the person? and if you don't plan to give a present to others, the card is like a gift in itself! (oh, and if we're going to spend money on postage, why not get the stickers with the holiday image! yay it's all so festive :)
if you don't have the address beforehand it can be a bit of a bummer. i always feel like it detracts from the surprise. but it's necessary. so i try to ask a couple months in advance, or just suck it up and ask the day before i mail out ;)