Although we are living in the digital age where snail mail seems to be slowly but surely disappearing, one type of mail doesn’t seem to be going away anytime soon: the Christmas card.
According to numbers from the U.S. Postal Service, mail, in general, has declined 43% since 2001, but greeting cards have not. Americans buy 6.5 billion greeting cards per year—1.6 billion of those are Christmas cards. Online card-making companies like Shutterfly and Etsy are reporting an increase in searches for family Christmas cards and portrait options. For Etsy, those searches were 258% higher from 2017 to 2018.
But you don’t need the research to prove this to you. You probably already have a stack of Christmas cards from friends and family you have yet to open... Perhaps you are stressing about addressing and stamping your own, or even trying to wrangle your family to take that perfect fireplace photo at the last minute.
While I love holiday traditions and getting updates on friends and family, sometimes the influx of Christmas cards during this season can lead us to compare our family to everyone else’s. These perfectly posed photos, often accompanied by a letter detailing how Sally made all A’s this year and Tommy is the star of the football team, can steal our joy from the season that is meant to be the most joyous.
If you haven’t gotten around to sending Christmas cards this year, you might be feeling even more envy. How are these families so on top of it when I’m not? How do they have the time to organize 100 cards and get them shipped before Christmas? I'm busy trying to keep my toddler alive.
A few Christmases ago, my sweet niece texted me this photo after attempting to make gingerbread houses with her daughter. You can see my niece holding the house remains after it collapsed. When the house fell, her daughter ran out of the room crying.