Thursday, January 15, 2009
The Yearly Update
Being where we are, with the mail system we have here, holiday cards have been coming late. So January becomes the month of receiving cards from everyone. I have to say, this is actually (unexpectedly) kind of nice, because that way the festive feeling gets extended a little while beyond when it usually ends.
Here’s the thing about Christmas/Holiday/Happy New Year cards. They’re not your grandmother’s Christmas cards.
Back in the day, it was a simple card that was bought at the store, and on the inside it said something like “best wishes” and was signed by the people who sent it. If you were lucky, it might have a 3-line personal note in it.
When everyone started having computers in their house that would print on normal, single-sheet paper, everyone started writing the “Christmas letter”, a lengthy, sometimes-boring discussion of what happened in that person’s life over the past year. They were usually printed on fancy paper with poinsettias or something, and were informative, but not something you really wanted to keep lying around.
Now, it’s the best of all worlds. People (so far mostly those with young kids, but I’m expecting this trend to expand) send a card that is a single piece of cardstock, with all kinds of photos on it. You get to see Friend A’s pregnant belly, and how tall Friend B’s 2-year-old has gotten, and what Friend C’s new house looks like. Also: because they’re just one flat piece and thus pretty easy-to-handle, you also have the option of posting them up on your fridge or your cubicle wall. This is what I’ve done for the past couple of years, and that way I get to have pictures of some of my best friends to look at all year long at work (or until the next pictures come).
Admittedly, my husband and I are a little behind the times, but then again, we don’t have an adorable infant to show off (and a photo of us outside our current home would be, um, not very pretty). This year, we sent cards with something that’s more in the “letter” format – but then again, lots has happened this year, and we did include a small picture of ourselves sitting on a cannon for everyone to laugh at.
Next year, though, maybe we’ll have to do the photo thing – it’s just too cool not to. Maybe we’ll do a “year in review” photo-style — starting, perhaps, with a photo of me and my husband at an upcoming inaugural ball.