Thank you Michelle Volkmann for sharing why it is important to send cards!  You all have one week, now get on it!

Mailing Christmas cards to your friends, co-workers, and family members is old-fashioned, redundant, and time-consuming. In our social media-centered society, many argue that it is more appropriate to update your status with a “Ho ho ho! Happy Holidays!” and a Santa hat-sporting selfie. These glad tidings are done with one click and available to your social media followers instantly.

It’s easier, faster, and more efficient. Right? Wrong. Today I am the ghost of Christmas past urging you to put down your preferred electronic device and pick up a no-batteries-needed pen.

Here are my top three arguments why you should send a Christmas card.

Christmas card humbug: It’s old-fashioned.

Christmas card cheer: It’s classic.

Receiving a red envelope in your mailbox is classic. It’s thoughtful communication that you hold in your hands. When you look at this

I post the Christmas cards we get each year
I post the Christmas cards we get each year

card, you have a moment to focus on your friend living miles away. When was the last time that happened?

I recommend selecting a Christmas card that reflects your personality. It may be retro cards with a sassy message inside. It may be a family newsletter detailing your adventures and disasters from the last 12 months. It may be a photo taken at a wedding or family vacation. Embrace this project as an opportunity to flex your creativity muscles.

Christmas card humbug: It’s redundant.

Christmas card cheer: It’s memorable.

Yes, I am constantly hooked to social media. But I rarely recall anything that I skimmed on my computer. For example, I can’t remember the last book my sister reviewed on GoodReads, but after I read her top five book recommendations for 2012 in her Christmas letter, I planned to read those books in 2013.

It’s a useful mental exercise to reflect on the past year. What were the highlights? What were the challenges? My heart is warmed when a friend pens a personal message in her card for me, not for mass consumption.  

Christmas card humbug: It’s time-consuming.

Christmas card cheer: You will be done before Zuzu says “Look, Daddy. Teacher says, every time a bell rings an angel gets his wings.”

Michelle Volkman Christmas Letter
In 2011, I wrote our family Christmas letter from my toddler’s perspective. She painted her handprints to “sign” each letter.

To make addressing Christmas cards a joyful multi-tasking experience, I watch a favorite holiday movie (the one that I have every word memorized) while signing my name and placing the stamps in the envelope corners.

Still too busy to send Christmas cards or a letter? My friend once sent a 22-word message. It read “2011 was a very big year for us. WE HAD A BABY! That’s all we have time to write. Happy Holidays!”

It’s one of my all-time favorite Christmas cards.


Part-time writer, full-time Navy spouse Michelle Volkmann is currently stationed near Monterey, California. She spends all year mentally planning her Christmas letter. Then she stays awake until 3 a.m. on December 14 writing it, printing it and sending it to 150 of her closest friends and family members.