Season’s Greetings

Only a few days left till Christmas Day, so how ‘re you doing?

Tree up and decorated?  check

Christmas gifts purchased?  check

Presents wrapped?  check

Cookies, candies, cakes made?  check

Christmas cards mailed?  oh crap…

Of all the Christmas preparations, signing and mailing Christmas cards is one of my least favorite things.  I love to receive Christmas cards but sending them out is something else.  First, there’s the choosing of the card.  Should one go religious, cute, sparkly…?  Have to admit, I like the sparkly  :-P  .  Then there’s signing them all and tracking down mailing addresses.  It’s a wonder any go out.

The first commercial Christmas card was produced in England in 1843.  That’s it on the right.  Commercially produced cards didn’t take hold in America till 1875.  They’ve varied in popularity over the years but I think the current trend is heading down.  According to Wikipedia, American households received an estimated 29 Christmas cards in 1987.  This number dropped to 20 in 2004.  I’d bet it’s even lower now.  Postage costs and lack of time have taken a toll.  Sometimes, just signing one’s name over and over is a bit of a chore. (sigh)  

But receiving them is pure joy!

I’ve seen fancy boxes in which to keep Christmas cards, but I like to hang mine on the doors in the kitchen.  That way I get to look at them frequently, rereading the messages inside, revisiting the pictures of the newest family members again and again.  (I must be doing better that the average Joe as I’ve recieved 33 cards thus far this year.  This number doesn’t include the number of cards that will show up AFTER Christmas  :-P

I like the photo cards.  Sometimes this is the only way I get to see how the kids are growing each year.  Have you noticed how photo cards generally only come from people with small kids?  I don’t get many from seniors with a “see how we’ve aged” photo. :-D

Let me give a shout out to my international friends who sent season’s greetings over such a far distance.  Although I don’t save stamps, I like to see the postal stamps from different countries and how different countries depict Christmas.  Here’s a card from Australia where the temperatures are decidedly different from the snow and ice here.  If this card was to represent the climate in Columbus, Santa would be blue and the wave would be white.

Hats off to all those who sent handmade Christmas cards.  Those are indeed the most creative.  Heck, I have difficulty getting the storebought cards signed, addressed and mailed to family, friends, and clients.  But I do appreciate that someone took the time to make the card to send to me.

By far, the most unique card I receive each year comes from my best friend in high school.  She’s a talented artist who has traveled extensively in India.  Every year she has Christmas cards made from her artwork.  Hmmm….maybe I should do this with my book covers?  After all, the heroine on the cover of Redeeming the Rogue is wearing a green dress.  And what conveys the spirit of peace and love than a torrid kiss :-) .  My friend’s painting this year is titled “Miss Ohio.”

Have you noticed an increase in computer cards this year?  Some of those are really impressive and I love the animation.   I certainly can understand the convenience and postage savings of a digital card, but I can’t put them up on my door :cry:   Bummer.

So how about you?  Are you a Christmas card person?  My niece from Oklahoma is here with me and she’s shaking her head no.  With two little ones she says she doesn’t have the time to send them out.  I think I’d probably live in a year round world of guilt if I received cards and didn’t send any out.  But that’s me.  :-D

Do you have a preference for traditional or digital cards either sent or received?  Do you prefer religious cards or just festive ones?  Are you one to read a long Christmas letter?  I like to read them but I’ve never written one.  Let’s chat and share some season’s greetings.

As we’re approaching the end of our 12 Days of Bandita Christmas celebration, be sure to comment to be eligible for our daily Bandita prize as well as our SUPER-DUPER GRAND prize giveaway Christmas Day. There’s enough books in that prize package to fill Santa’s sleigh!  For today’s giveaway, I’ll add a Celtic Christmas ornament and a copy of The Casanova Code to the 12 days prize of a rooster ornament or a dragon cookie cutter and a sugar cookie mix.

Speaking of munchies – here’s an easy appetizer to make for your holiday celebration

Roll-ups

2 (8 0z) cream cheese

1 pkg. dry Ranch dressing (I use the Buttermilk package)

2-3 green onions, chopped

1/2 cup diced red pepper

1 small can sliced black olives (diced)

4 to 6 – 12″ soft flour tortillas

Mix the first three ingredients and then spread on the tortilla shells.  Sprinkle the other ingredients on top.  Roll the tortilla up into a cylinder.  Wrap in saran wrap and store in the refrigerator overnight.  Slice and serve  (the ends I sacrifice to the chef).

 

 

 

 

 

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Comments

106 thoughts on “Season’s Greetings

  1. 1
    Jane says:

    Hi Donna,
    It’s so nice to receive actual Christmas cards in the mail since most do ecards these days. I admit I’ve gotten lazy and usually send ecards. I’ve gotten a few of those cards that feature the little kids. Festive and humorous cards are my faves.

    • 1.1

      Jane – I’m a fan of the humorous cards myself. I don’t usually mail them but I stand around in the card store reading them, chuckling to myself. I think ecards are probably the future for some good reasons – they are certainly more environmentally friendly than a paper card and cost a lost less. I just wish there was an easy way to share them with family.

      But let me share this with you – Merry Christmas Jane! (we need a smilie with a Santa cap).

  2. 2
    Helen says:

    Donna

    Love that card from Australia LOL I do still send out Christmas cards to as many people that I have addresses for and love doing it and I love getting them any type will do I love them all.

    I did have a bit of a problem this year I have lost part of my Chrissy card list and I did have to wait till a few come with return address on them for me to send I think there is only one person I didn’t get to send a card to but I did send her a message on facebook she lives in England.

    I do love the letters I sometimes get with them as well but I have never done one either and have never made a Christmas card I always buy them

    Have Fun
    Helen 2 more sleeps

    • 2.1

      Two more sleeps indeed!

      Thought you might like that Australian card :-) . I’ve had folks move on me causing me to wait for their card before I send mine. I’d be in an absolute panic were I to lose my address file on my computer. Matter of fact, I think I’ll make a note to copy that file from my old PC to my Mac, just so I’ll have a back-up when the PC breathes it’s last. Thank you for that reminder – and a very Merry Christmas to you, Helen!

  3. 3
    Mary Preston says:

    I haven’t sent out Christmas cards for years. If I’m not going to see a loved one over the Christmas period I telephone them. I may send off a few messages on Christmas Day itself.

    Speaking of letters for Christmas, I actually received a beautiful note from my Mother in the post just days ago. She knows I love her letters. I’ve actually been keeping them because they are like a journal for the next generation & so on.

    • 3.1

      Mary -

      That’s wonderful that you keep those letters. There’s an archival (non-lending) library here that won’t accept anything but a print copy book. Their reasoning is that technology changes so quickly, they’re afraid they wouldn’t be able to access their books (think Beta video tapes). But written letters will be readable far into the future – especially if they are properly preserved.

      I bet your friends welcome those telephone calls. Unfortunately, I’m one that would spend hours on the phone with just one friend. I’d have to start calling people with Christmas wishes back at Easter time. So let me give you a Merry Christmas shout out right now :-)

  4. 4
    Amy Conley says:

    I used to love sending cards. I live close to the town of Santa Claus, In and every year they have a different and special postmark for cards and letters. Since most of my cards went to other states I always thought of the postmark as something extra. I love getting cards,specially from my grandmother and mother. For two women so closely related they sure do have different ways of picking cards. My grandmother picked her cards very carefully, for each of us and who we are. My mother on the other hand just picks up the first card she sees, and then she’s done. Sometimes she does well, usually not so well. But it was funny to see which way she’d go from year to year. This is the first year I’ve never sent one card out. It is also the first year I’ve not recieved a card from my grandmother since she passed away in Sept. I still check the mailbox everyday expecting to find a card from her though. And this year’s card from my mother was a good one. Maybe my grandmother was helping her out.

    • 4.1

      Amy -
      Hugs on the loss of your grandmother. The absence of loved ones is always particularly poignant during the holidays. I like to think that she is indeed helping your mom out, gently guiding her card choices. That’s a lovely thought.

      That’s funny about living in Santa Claus. There’s a town called Loveland here in Ohio. People go out of their way to have their wedding invitations and valentines postmarked in Loveland. Smart of Santa Claus to create a unique postmark for each year. Bet their revenues soar this time of year :-) .

      Hope you have a wonderful Christmas, Amy!

  5. 5
    Diane Sallans says:

    I’ve been very remiss this year in that I din’t send any Christmas cards out. There’s a few notes I’ll have to send after Christmas in response to some cards I received. I probably won’t do eCards either – just a lot of wishing Happy Holidays in person, on the phone or in Instant Message chats. I don’t usually send very religious cards, but like a variety to pick the right card to send. Sometimes cute, sometimes funny. I like the ones with animals for homes with children.

    • 5.1

      Diane –
      I don’t usually send religious cards out either. I’ve too many people on my Christmas list that are of different religons or cultures and I don’t want to offend anyone. That’s one of the nice things about cards with festive scenes – they just make everyone smile – especially if there’s lots of glitter :-). I’m an animal person and love cards that feature them myself. I don’t do a lot of instant chats so let me just say Merry Christmas here. :-)

  6. 6
    Barb says:

    Hi Donna

    I send Christmas cards that I make myself…. I do embroideries on my embroidery machine and stick them in cards, I also do a Christmas letter and send with them as most of my cards go to the UK …. that is where I originally come from, although I have been in Australia over 30 years … it is a way of catching up with all my friends and relatives

    • 6.1

      Barb -
      I bet your cards are as loved as they are anticipated. How interesting that you include a bit of embroidery. I could see someone saving those bits and pieces over the years and turning them into a lovely remembrance of your kindness.

      There are some Christmas letters that I love to read each year to catch up with far distant friends. There are other Christmas letters that must be pure fiction given what I know of the realities of the family. Life is never that conflict free :-) , but I suppose blind optimism goes hand-in-hand with the season. Hope you have a Merry Christmas!

  7. 7
    Maureen says:

    I only send Christmas cards to a small group of family and friends and I use store bought cards because I never think of them until the last minute. I do like getting Christmas cards but we definitely get and give a lot less than we did years ago.

    • 7.1

      Maureen -

      Yes, the number of cards I send out/ receive have dwindled a bit as well. It must be a trend as there aren’t as many cards to chose from at the stores anymore. I imagine in time ecards will replace paper cards as email has replaced letters. (sigh) It’s progress, but I’ll miss the old ways.
      Hope you have a wonderful Christmas!

  8. 8
    eli yanti says:

    When I was in school (junior and senior) I love to send a card : Christmas, Hari Raya (Islamic New Year) and Chinese New Year but not now anymore. We used another media to send our greeting like fb, twitter, blackberry messenger :)

    • 8.1

      Eli -
      Yes – I’m afraid cards are quickly becoming a nostalgic part of our past. You know, packrat that I am, I still have many of the Christmas cards that I really liked. I always figured I’d do something creative with them with the kids. Now the kids are all grown up and I still have those cards. Someday, they’ll be worth something as antiques. :-)

      I suppose it’s the sentiment, not the media, that”s important. So let me wish you a very Merry Christmas!

  9. 9
    Kim Cornwell says:

    I use to love sending out cards! I always loved the funny ones! Over the years it has kinda dwindled off! I just don’t have the time! In love to get them via computer! I love the animation! Hope everyone has a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

    • 9.1

      Kim -

      Technology has really changed the face of cards, hasn’t it? I recieved one this week with the twelve days of Christmas that was especially fun.

      Hope you have a wonderful Christmas!

  10. 10

    I love getting cards and sending them out! I start our holiday card in Jan and add each month as the year goes. Unfortunately, the cost of stamps and cards I only send out the amount of cards in the box. This year we’ve received half the cards of last year. I love to read what people write inside the cards, some funny, some sad, but glad they’ve shared with us.
    On another note, what is wrong Donna? The snack you shared didn’t have alcohol in it? Or do you save that for the other goodies?
    Best to you and yours on the holidays!

    • 10.1

      LOL Paulette – You know me too well! As I wrote the blog about two in the morning after a long, long day – I was going for a recipe with minimum ingredients and typing. Hmmm….in hindsight, I should have posted a recipe for a holiday drink.

      Speaking of stamps – go out and buy more “forever” stamps. The price is going up effective January 27th.

      Hope you have a wonderful holiday, Paulette!

  11. 11
    may says:

    I love getting x’mas cards! :) I am a bit bad at sending them though. I am usually a bit late for my international friends though since our international cut off date is at the end of November here in Canada and I never feel christmassy enough in November!

    • 11.1

      May –

      Wow! Late November? I agree. Even though the stores are all playing Christmas carols by then, I’m just not in the mood that early.

      Apologies to my international friends – I think you’re getting your cards late – but remember – it’s the thought that counts! :-)

      Merry Christmas to you, May!

  12. 12

    Donna,
    I send cards and letters every year …can’t change old habits. I have Hanukkah, Hanukkamas and Christmas cards printed from my watercolor paintings then I insert the holiday letter and off they go! I love receiving cards and letter but smile the most at the pictures of the children each year. I keep a list of all the addresses on the computer…someday I need to learn how to do labels!
    Happy Holidays to you!
    Hugs
    Debbi

    • 12.1

      Debbi -

      I live by labels :-) . We’ll have to talk.

      How wonderful that you’re so very talented – and prolific – that you can turn into cards. Hanukkamas? I’m unfamiliar with that expression. Is that those of the Jewish faith that also have a tree? I think if I were raised Jewish I would fall into that category. Ornaments are too cool not to put them on a tree :-)

      Wishing you a wonderful holiday, Debbi!

  13. 13
    Brenda Rumsey says:

    I really prefer the mailed Christmas cards that I can keep year after year. Some of my friends do the family picture each year and I always love nature themed cards. Love it when someone takes the time to send a special card that reflects their personality too.

    • 13.1

      Brenda -

      Thank you. It’s good to know that I’m not the only one that hangs on to these Christmas cards :-).
      As the trend continues for more and more ecards, we’ll have less opportunities for this.
      Hope you have a great Christmas with lots of cards :-)

  14. 14
    Heathercm2001 says:

    I do photo cards every year with my two fur babies on it. It has become a tradition, and people seem to enjoy them. I usually check different websites for a card layout, and many of them actually have dog themed cards. They work perfectly! The difficult part is actually getting their picture.

  15. 15
    Mozette says:

    Do you have a preference for traditional or digital cards either sent or received? Do you prefer religious cards or just festive ones? Are you one to read a long Christmas letter? I like to read them but I’ve never written one. Let’s chat and share some season’s greetings.

    I love receiving Christmas cards… traditional or festive… it doesn’t bother me. But I hate getting digital; it’s so very cold. Who sends those things? I most certainly don’t.
    Christmas letters are cool, but I’ve not written on in a long time. Normally I put a big Christmas note in my blog and get my friends to read it through putting my url in the cards… the exact url; and they can find it through that. Then, everyone gets the same news at the same time and nobody misses out; and it’s free.

    • 15.1

      Mozette -

      What a neat idea about taking your Christmas letter digital by including the url in your cards. Excellent idea. I was thinking that one of the drawbacks of the digital cards was the loss of the ability to include a letter – but you’ve found a way to fill that void.

      I don’t necessarily find digital cards to be cold, I just wish there was a way to keep them or display them. I guess a digital card frame will be the next big thing.

      Hope you have a wonderful Christmas!

      • 15.1.1
        Mozette says:

        This year, however, I’ve been a bit lax as I haven’t had the be best year to boast about… so I gave it a miss; and none of my friends have worried too much about not getting a url in their cards this year.

        Otherwise, I have gotten into making up a cd of photos with a Word document telling them what each photo was about, where it was taken and the backstory of each event I went to that goes with each photo… very cool. :D And I’ve had some great feedback on those too.

  16. 16
    Linda says:

    I admit to being guilty of rarely sending printed greeting cards or even b’day cards but go electronic. I can’t remember the last time I sent/received a handwritten letter either. But I don’t mind receiving electronic cards myself; what is more important to me is the personal message be it in an electronic or printed card.

    • 16.1

      Linda -

      I think that’s the important thing as well. I’ve recieved some paper Christmas cards that are downright clinical and cold. A little personalization goes a long, long way no matter the format.

      Hope you have a wonderful Christmas!

  17. 17
    Connie Fischer says:

    When I first got married a gazillion years ago, I started sending out Christmas cards and continue to do so. After my in-laws passed away, I continued to send cards to their surviving siblings, many of whom I’ve never met. It’s also a matter of respect to my dear mother-in-law because she was such a big Christmas card writer. Many younger people have never started the tradition because they probably feel that they don’t have the time or money to invest into it. It’s an individual decision and I think it’s fine either way.

    Merry Christmas, Donna!

    Connie Fischer
    email hidden; JavaScript is required

    • 17.1

      Connie -

      I agree. It’s the thought that counts, not the format. There are some great digital cards out there and the fact that someone took the time to send one to you is the important thing.

      Hope you have a wonderful Christmas, Connie!

  18. 18
    Laney4 says:

    I prefer sending and receiving traditional cards. They are a pain in the butt to prepare every year, but I figure my friends/family are worth it. During the last five years or so, I have written a year-in-review poem – some years they were printed onto blank cards and decorated individually, one year they were printed on a slip of paper called “Santa’s list” that I inserted in the front of the card so that Santa was holding the poem/list, and this year I printed them on regular paper, cropped them, and glued them inside Heart & Stroke Foundation cards (whatever they mail me). I was only going to do the poem one year because they are difficult to write and sometimes more difficult to print (especially into a thick card that the printer doesn’t like to feed), but I had over 30 people request that I make it an annual event that I caved in. I usually wait till mid December before writing them, as things change at the drop of a dime and I don’t want to miss anything (as the poem becomes my permanent record of the year too). This year, I wrote my poem in late November because I was meeting friends on Dec 2 and needed to share Christmas cards then. Printed them off and then something else would happen that needed updating in the poem, so I ended up rewriting it many many times before finally mailing the rest in mid December. (My 5o-yr-old sis-in-law died during cancer surgery, a woman I called Mom died, then in early December a good friend’s 52-year-old son died of cancer and another sis-in-law was diagnosed with bone cancer.)
    So yeah, I’ll read and write a long Christmas letter, but nowadays it’s in verse instead. Lots of the people who receive my cards are elderly and/or live far away, so they only hear from me once a year with details on how the rest of the family is doing. In the olden days, I would type long letters a few times a year to some of those relatives, but now the ones with Internet are kept in the loop sooner.

    • 18.1

      Wow! Kudos to you Laney, writing a year in review IN VERSE! I think I need to draft your assistance in coming up with Temperence slogans for hm heroine in my work-in-process. I just bought a rhyming dictionary to help come up with some fun fictional slogans.

      I can understand why so many insist maintain this tradition. It sounds like it would be fun to read. However hugs on the need to update with so many sad events. At least, those friends were commemorated in verse.

      Hope you have a wonderful Christmas, Laney!

    • 18.2

      Laney, I’m sorry for the losses you’ve experienced this year. I tend to miss people most at the holidays.

      The idea of a holiday letter in verse in mind-boggling. My hat is off to you!

  19. 19
    sandyg265 says:

    My brother makes a similar roll up appetizer. I like to roll things in crescent rol dough and bake them.

  20. 20
    Minna says:

    I send cards only to people whose e-mail address I don’t know. Everybody else gets electronic ones.

    • 20.1

      Minna -

      Isn’t it neat that there’s so many really neat digital cards that you can send? That market has really exploded. Thinking about the cards I send out – most I don’t have an email address for. Hmmm….hadn’t thought about that.

      Wishing you a wonderful Christmas, Minna!

  21. 21
    Anna Sugden says:

    Love receiving cards in the post! Hate the hassle of writing them, though and never have enough time to actually put the notes in each one that I want to. Each year I plan to be more organised, but never quite make it :)

    The big thing here is to send cards that donate their proceeds to charity. Our cards this year supported the Lifeboats, Cats Protection, a local homeless shelter called Jimmy’s and a local food bank, part of the Trussell Trust.

    • 21.1

      Anna – That’s me. Every year I’m tempted not to send out cards, and indeed, our list shrinks a little bit each year. But I love to receive the cards which means I have to send them. Signing Christmas cards is something of a prolonged process, but I do love the cards I receive in response.

      Hope you have a wonderful holiday, Ann!

  22. 22
    Cassondra says:

    Hi Donna,

    I agree that I also like sparkly, but I also love pretty scenes, and scenes from different places. The truth is, that I love seeing all the different ones. I hang them on my crystal cabinet. Right now they’re all over both doors.

    The number has gone down for me, but I just figured that people were cutting me off their lists because I so seldom get around to sending cards myself. I have several boxes of cards–bought ones I like when I found them in different places–usually on sale, after Christmas, but each year goes by and I don’t get it done. The thought is there, but the execution isn’t. It falls under the weight of the house cleaning, and work is often really busy for me during the holidays. You wouldn’t think so, would you? But my deadlines seem to fall early in the year, and that makes Christmas a rush time.

    So far this year, we don’t even have a tree up, but my crystal cabinet, covered with the gorgeous cards–I have 20 so far–help remind me that it is, actually, only two days away.

    I also love the handmade cards. I got one from the West Coast this year from a Bandit sister and went, “HOW THE BLAZES DID YOU DO THAT???” It’s sitting behind me on the Hoosier cabinet, and I got a couple of pop-up cards this year that are so creative, and also one hand made one that is absolutely lovely.

    The time people spend to do it, and that they thought of me, is the special part, because if they still have me on that list, it’s not from a sense of obligation at this point. And that means a lot.

    • 22.1

      Cassondra -
      I do think people trim their lists based on who has sent them cards in the past, but I can’t imagine anyone cutting you from their list. It really does take a bit of effort to send out cards. I’d be lost without my computer generated list of labels. I wonder how my mother did it when everything was hand-addressed?

      Hey – you should hang your cards in the shape of a tree! They’d do double duty :-)

      Seriously, hope you take some time off from the house cleaning to really enjoy the holiday. I wish you a wonderful one. Merry Christmas!

    • 22.2

      Cassondra, I also think FB and Twitter and such are cutting down on the cards people send. Maybe they feel they keep in touch with friends through the year, so there’s no need for the special holiday greeting. Whatever the reason, we receive far fewer cards than we used to though we still end them out.

  23. 23
    CateS says:

    I got a lovely one from a former neighbor who is very artistic.. The card front was a reproduction of a watercolor of hers.. Lovely winter scene… We moved away 16 years ago, but still mail cards…. mine are always bought on sale… hers are wonderful!!

    • 23.1

      Cate -
      That’s how I feel. I’m always looking for “a good deal” in a card. Often my cards are purchased the year before when the stores are looking to clear their inventory – and then I receive beautiful handmade cards, or reproductions of someone’s artwork, and I feel inadequate in my cardliness.
      Still – it’s all about the sentiment.

      Congratulations on keeping the communications going for sixteen years. Wishing both you and your artistic friend a very Merry Christmas!

  24. 24
    Cassondra says:

    Oh, and no, the presents are not wrapped. The baking is not done.

    The shopping is done for everyone who will be here AT Christmas, but still a few gift cards to buy for the nieces/nephews who come later in the week.

    Then I have to grocery shop. Must do that either this morning–as soon as I get off the computer–or tonight.

    I’m thinking now is a better time. Before the church crowd gets to the stores.

    • 24.1

      It’s a crazy time of year. My niece and her family just left so now we turn our efforts toward the big day. I think I’ve got all the presents – now it’s just wrapping, baking and somewhere in it all, sleeping. I’m running really low on sleep :-)

      WIshing you continued energy Cassondra. See you in 2013.

  25. 25

    I really don’t like writing Christmas cards. This year, I was determined to do a better job. I did get some out. Unfortunately, I’m doing a better job of sending them out as I get them. Since I moved I can’t seem to find my address book. And I really suck at this mailing thing. I had one card come back because I missed putting a stamp on it (sorry, Tawny, it was yours and I haven’t gotten it back in the mail).

    I have a feeling I’ll be doing some ecards later today.

    • 25.1

      Gee – I hadn’t thought of using ecards as a backup for paper cards that would be late otherwise. Smooth move, Christie! Unfortunately, I rarely have the email addresses for those that I’ve missed – darn. Email addresses are almost more important these days then physical ones.

      Christie – it’s time to move those addresses to the computer. Just saying…

      Have a fabulous and Merry Christmas!

    • 25.2

      Christie, we’ve gotten several e-cards this year, different styles but all very nice. I think it’s the sentiment that matters most.

  26. 26
    Louisa says:

    I am slowly but surely getting my Christmas cards out. I do love to send and receive them, but some years work and other holiday chores do get in the way of my sending them out in a timely fashion! I try to choose cards that say Seasons Greetings so that if they arrive after Christmas they cover the entire holiday season!

    I prefer scenes of winter wonder or wildlife on my cards. This year I was very fortunate to find a lovely winter scene of a stone bridge across a partially frozen stream. It reminded me very much of a spot near the village where we lived
    in England.

    I hadn’t thought about putting my addresses in my computer. I have a very old address book I keep in a drawer in my desk. Should something happen to it I would be in serious trouble!

    Merry Christmas to the Banditas and Buddies! I hope all of your Christmas wishes come true!

    • 26.1

      Louisa -

      Computerize. It will save grief down the road. :-)

      I understand completely about how so many other priorities crowd out the time to send cards. I think why I tend to procrastinate about sending them out is that I want to put a personal greeting in each card and that takes a lot of time. Even though I could do a few cards here, a few cards there, the immensity of doing them all paralyzes me from doing the first.

      Smart move on the Season’s Greetings :-).

      Lousia – Wishing you a very Merry Christmas and all the season’s greeting that can fit between the lines. :-)

    • 26.2

      Louisa, we cling to our battered, torn address book. We need a new one. We know we do. But the old one has multiple addresses for friends who move, addresses for people who’ve died, addresses for people we’ve lost touch with. Parting with it is tough.

      Good luck with your cards!

      • 26.2.1

        You know – I always thought it somewhat nostalgic to look at my old written address book and see all the address changes. It’s like a little capsulation of a lifetime.

      • 26.2.2
        Louisa says:

        You are so right, Nancy! There are several addresses in my old beat up book to which I will never send another Christmas card, but I look at them every year just the same and remember those people I’ve lost. And many of the addresses are for people I haven’t seen in decades, but those Christmas cards are important ways for me to touch base with them and let them know I have never forgotten them.

  27. 27
    gamistress66 says:

    I try to send cards out each year. I created an address label document that I update each year with any address changes I know about, add any new names & the occasional delete. This has made it much easier to get them out as. I can concentrate on signing & any personal notes not looking up and writing out addresses which is the part I really hate.

    • 27.1

      Gamistress –

      You’ve got this card thing down cold.
      A computer file of addresses and the ability to print out labels takes a lot of the drudgery out of sending cards – and if you send them out, pretty cards will come back to you :-).

      Hope you get lots of pretty season’s greetings showering upon your person :-) Merry Christmas, Gamistress!

  28. 28
    pearl says:

    I used to send cards and enjoyed receiving them, but the e-cards and e-mail are simpler and quick since many have no time any more. Your appetizer sounds yummy.

    • 28.1

      Thanks Pearl. My son loves those things so I really appreciate that they are so easy to make. Often I don’t get a chance to sacrifice the ends to the chef – he snitches them first.

      Ecards certainly are convienent – that’s why I think they will eventually replace the paper version entirely. I guess one could say that saving the cards I received this year will be building an antique collection for future years
      :-).

      Wishing you a very Merry Christmas!

  29. 29
    Dianna aka Hrdwrkdmom says:

    I exchange Christmas cards at work and all of our cubicles are decorated with the cards. After Christmas the cards are taken up and there is something going with St. Judes that benefits that hospital.

    I have not received nor sent out cards from home in years. The last time I sent out 50+ cards and received only one back from the garbage mean finished it for me.

    I went to the store yesterday to finish up the shopping for dinner, now it is just a case of getting my kitchen organized for the big day.

    • 29.1

      Diana -
      You sent out 50+ cards and only one came back? That’s just cruel. I don’t blame you for abandoning the practice. Those people don’t appreciate your valuable time and consideration.

      There’s a program that can turn received cards into contributions to St. Judes? Would love the details. I certainly can donate some of these after the holidays.

      Hope you have a wonderful Christmas Dianna. Looking forward to seeing you in 2013.

  30. 30
    ellie says:

    Sending cards is meaningful and the cards are always unique and special. Fewer each year though. I bake instead and send goodies.

    • 30.1

      Yum! Add me to your list :-)

      I’m afraid, though, that if it’s hard to find time to send cards on a timely basis….baking goodies to give would be even mroe difficult. What a sweetie you are to do so. Merry Christmas to you, Ellie!

  31. 31
    Anne says:

    Receiving and sending cards was always a tradition which now has ended. Many things have changed and it was inevitable. Lovely post today.

    • 31.1

      Anne -
      Ouch! Can sending cards die a slow death? :-)

      I’m afraid you’re right, Anne, but I think I’ll hold on to the tradition for a while longer. I guess a resistance to grab ahold of the future is one of the reasons I write historicals :-).

      Hope you have a lovely and Merry Christmas!

  32. 32
    diane says:

    Starting my cooking and baking in earnest for company which I look forward to each year. Having family around makes life enjoyable and special. I try to be inventive and creative. Best wishes.

    • 32.1

      Diane -
      Yum! Can smell those lovely baking aromas over here. It’s a fabulous time of year, isn’t it? It’ll take months to work off the damage I plan to do to my diet in the next couple of days :-)

      Wishing you a wonderful Christmas, Diane. And don’t forget to grab those hot cookie sheets with an oven mitt firmly in hand. :-)

  33. 33
    Deb says:

    I love receiving Christmas cards and bits of news from others. I used to have my cards ready to mail on December 1st, then a baby came along and the cards went out later and later. This year, though, I have to say that my procrastination skills have hit a peak. My cards were all addressed and ready to be mailed and then…a blizzard hit on Wednesday night and Thursday a.m. No Christmas cards this year from the Hin House. I just may do Valentine’s Day cards. No one really does that anymore, so, yep, might just do it. Merry Christmas, everyone!

    • 33.1

      Deb -

      Glad you came out the other side of the blizzard safe and sound. We just got 2.5 inches here – just enough to make everything pretty for a day. The sun is shining so brightly now, I doubt the snow will be around much longer.

      I say send those puppies out. Better late than never. Given the number of cards I receive after Christmas every year – I think that’s a philosophy shared by many.

      Hope you have a wonderful and SAFE Christmas this year!

  34. 34
    Pissenlit says:

    Ha! Ya, I don’t think “see how we’ve aged” photo cards will catch on. :D

    I mightily dislike digital cards and have no particular preference when it comes to religious or festive cards…I just prefer pretty ones. :D As for long Christmas letters, one of my university friends sends out handmade cards with matching envelopes and a family newsletter every year that I love. Her husband’s job transferred him out to the other side of the country soon after getting married(they found out the week before the wedding *snarf*) so I love reading about what’s up with them and their growing family.

    My favourite Christmas card ever was actually a box of Hallmark cards that I bought several years ago. I can’t seem to part with the 2 remaining copies. It’s of an adorable little bunny standing up in a clearing in a snow-covered forest. The entire card is white with the exception of the cute little tiny brown bunny near the bottom middle of the cover and there’s a backdrop of snow-covered evergreens created by embossing.

    • 34.1

      LOL Pissenlit – I have a whole drawer of the last one or two favored Christmas cards with which I just can’t part. There was a time, back when I kept family photos in these thick photo albums – that I would include the family Christmas card as the marker of the end of the year. Man – I haven’t looked at those albums in decades. I might have to pull them out. Now, with all my photos on my phone – no use for thick family photo albums. That’s sort of sad, isn’t it?

      I think my favorite card (and what an excellent question – wish I had thought to ask it) is an all white laser cut one that doesn’t look like much when it’s folded. Then as you pull it apart (it’s a three part folded card) you can see that it’s Santa’s sleigh and reindeer bounding over the rooftops. And then there’s a couple of favorite ones with a similar theme. That of looking in a toy store window with a child’s awe of possibility or some suggestion of magic happening.

      I get many, many Christmas letters – but the all time best comes from bandita Susan Sey. Hilarious and loving – much like the bandita herself.

      Merry Christmas Pissenlit!

  35. 35
    EC Spurlock says:

    I’ve always loved getting cards in the mail but as you say with people having less time and rising postage costs we get fewer every year. I think we got less than a dozen this year.

    I can understand that; we went for several years without sending any. Last year I did an e-card featuring one of my free cross stitch patterns that I post on DeviantArt every year. This is the first year in about six or seven years that I actually bought and mailed cards. We have friends of many denominations so we tend to go for a neutral “Seasons Greetings” type thing; usually we lean toward very Victorian looking cards but this year we used Japanese wood block prints of lovely winter scenes.

    Merry Christmas to all the Banditas and Bandita Buddies!

    • 35.1

      EC -
      Oh – I’d love to see the Japanese block print card. Funny how each book puts me in a “period.” WIth REDEEMING THE ROGUE, it was Irish. I even have Irish themed plates for the holiday table. With THE CASANOVA CODE, it’s Japanese – especially block prints. I’m drawn to anything Japanese. Now, based on the recent addition of so many bottles of Scotch to my liquor cabinet, you can guess my leanings with the WIP :-) .

      Wishing you a wonderful holiday EC. See you in 2013!

  36. 36

    Donna, what a fun post. We love Christmas cards. The dh makes them, so we don’t always have them ready in time for Christmas arrival. We pin them to ribbons around our dining room archway.

    We definitely receive fewer than we used to. We send fewer, as well, but that’s partly because I belong to fewer organizations and the ones I do belong to do not provide mailing addresses on rosters.

    • 36.1

      Thank you Nancy -
      I LOVE your handmade cards, though I didn’t know the dh made them. Homemade cards are just so personal. LOL on the organizations. Accountants send out holiday cards…boring holiday cards :-) . Heaven forbid one can warm and feelie with an accountant. Hmmm….I wonder if I can do something with that.

      Hope you have a wonderful holiday with the amazingly talented boy and your sweet dh!

  37. 37
    Pat Cochran says:

    1. I like both traditional & digital cards.
    2. Like both religious & festive cards.
    3. I read holiday letters, especially if sent
    by friends. I’ve never written one!

    Pat C.

    • 37.1

      LOL Pat – I’ve never written one either! I’m not very good at glossing over reality for that sugary sweet tone to Christmas cards – but I love reading everyone else’s.

      Merry Christmas to you! You’ll smile when you hear that my niece and her family that resides in Oklahoma were up and shocked shall we say – by the cold temps. Christmas must be an entirely different experience down south. :-)

  38. 38
    Lois M. says:

    Definitely like getting anything, in any way that someone wants to send it, in any theme… that said, I’m glad that there still is one group I’m in that still sends out a list for those that want to mail out Christmas cards, because otherwise, I wouldn’t be getting any anymore! LOL

    Lois

  39. 39
    Lianne says:

    Hi Donna – It’s nice to receive any mail that’s not a bill. Definitely receive and send less Christmas cards than previously. Most of the ones I sent this year were store bought (in support of the local Hospice)
    Season greetings to you all!

    • 39.1

      LOL Lianne – about anything that isn’t a bill. I’m a little afraid of what’s going to fill up our mailbox in January. The taxman cometh.

      Good on you for supporting Hospice – what a wonderful organization that brings comfort and support to those facing the end of their days. I think everyone has need of hospice at a crucial time in their lives these days.

      Hope you are “hospice free” in 2013. Wishing you a fabulous Christmas celebration!

  40. 40
    CrystalGB says:

    I like all kinds of Christmas cards. I wish I were more diligent about sending them.

    • 40.1

      Crystal -

      Yeah – sending them is sort of the key…and it really is difficult to make the time to do it in a timely manner. This year I made myself a goal of just preparing ten cards for mailing a day. I found by spreading out the mailing over the course of the week really helped.

      Wishing you a Merry Christmas, Crystal. Looking forward to chatting with you again in 2013.

  41. 41

    Lois –

    LOL – I’m with you in any kind of joyous greeting, any way they want to send it…especially if it’s edible :-). I belonged to a card exchange group last year, but this year I just never got around to signing up. Ah – the pressure of the season.

    Hope you have a wonderful Christmas. Be sure to join us in 2013!

  42. 42

    Lovely post, Donna! I must say that I’m hopeless with sending Christmas cards of any description, so I do the advent calendars. I think sending physical cards is a lovely tradition but I’m just no good at it, I’m afraid! I do enjoy getting the ones with the family photos. I tend to keep those, whereas the others need to be thrown away as we just don’t have the storage.

    Merry Christmas, everyone!

    • 42.1

      Christina – the advent calendars are so lovely. My niece was here today with her young daughter. I showed the daughter (would that be my niece once removed?) how to do the calendar. She was entertained for hours – and I saw her showing her little brother how to make a snowman using the calendar. You can’t do that with a card :-)

      I do think Christmas cards are becoming a thing of the past. A bit of nostalgia that we’ll read about in the historical romances of the future. Such is progress.

      Hope you’re enjoying a fabulous Christmas in your new remodeled home. Bet it feels good to be there. It’s almost like decorating for the first time :-) Hope you have a great one!

  43. 43
    Mariska says:

    Actual cards will be so great to received and read..

  44. 44
    Melody May says:

    I set out to make my Christmas cards, then it ends up with pieces and I send out like 5. Which is more than last year. I’m getting there.

    • 44.1

      LOL Melody -

      If I were only sending out five cards, I’d try my hand at making them as well. What fun! But I sent out probably about 40-50 cards this year and that’s down from last year! I’m strictly a store-bought girl :-)

      Have a great Christmas, Melody. Looking forward to chatting with you in 2013.

  45. 45
    Kaelee says:

    I love to get cards and I do like to send them out. This year I sent 70. I buy cards when they go on sale after Christmas. the only problem is i have too many now so I can’t buy more this year. I’m a Christmas card junkie.

  46. 46

    Kaelee -

    A woman after my own heart. Seventy cards – heavens. You too should make sure you buy forever stamps after Christmas as the price goes up Jan. 27th.

    Hope you have a wonderful Christmas! Be sure to come back to chat with us in 2013.

  47. 47
    Fedora says:

    Hey, Donna! We just addressed the last of our bunch last night, and while I don’t mind the electronic cards, I still prefer the traditional snail-mail variety. I like ones that express the true sentiment and reason for Christmas, but festive greetings are always welcome :) And I do like some holiday updates from friends–whether or not I read all the way through depends in part on how well written it is ;) DH usually takes charge of our letter effort thankfully–he’s typically an excellent writer :D

  48. 48
    catslady says:

    I love Christmas cards but alas I think they are disappearing. I use to spend a month writing long personal messages for mostly all my husband’s relatives that lived in different states. Most have all passed or are older and don’t do them. Newer friends just don’t seem to send cards and there are the email ones now too. I sent out only a dozen this year and I think I only received 6 :(

  49. 49
    LilMissMolly says:

    I held 3 parties this year. Yesterday’s was the last. Thanks goodness I’m done! Merry Christmas everyone!