Back to the Advent Calendar where I began this blog in earnest - this time for 2011.
The prompt for today:
Did your family send cards? Did your family display the ones they received? Do you still send Christmas cards? Do you have any cards from your ancestors?
My immediate family has always sent Christmas Cards to family and friends. Often, perhaps unfortunately, it is the only contact we have with some friends all year. But at least they know that they are thought of and remembered.
When I was little we would use the cards we received in scrapbooks, or to make cards of our own. We also took the cards to school where they were used to make cards for mum and dad. (Obviously this was done the following year!)
The cards we received were always displayed around the loungeroom. I don't remember any particular tradition regarding Christmas Cards, except that they were always part of Christmas.
Unfortunately I don't have any cards from years gone by - although birthday cards were always kept and pasted into an album. A tradition I continued for my own daughter.
Nowadays I still send cards to family and friends - about 80 each year. I also send (in addition to a 'real' card) an e-card to those friends and family who have internet access. I try to make sure my cards are done and posted in the first week of December. For those we don't have much contact with during the year I also include a letter which reviews our year. Whilst this is done on the computer I personalise them by using mail merge. I have a data document set up with individual names and a section for family specific chat. So everyone gets the main letter, with their names printed at the beginning of the letter, and most have an extra paragraph or two that is specific to that family - perhaps asking about a family member, or commenting on something that is only significant for that family. Therefore, my Christmas letter is as personalised as a mass-produce letter can be.
I also send a card to each of my grandchildren - just for them, rather than them being included in the family card. I know our daughter saved the cards when the girls were younger, but I'm not sure if she still does. I'm not sure whether our daughter-in-law ever kept the cards. Our other daughter has yet to produce any grandchildren, but I'm sure she would keep cards if and when she becomes a mother.
I do keep a record of who I send to, and who sends us cards. Usually the two lists are the same - but there are some people who I send to who never send cards. If someone sends us a card and I haven't sent them one I will do so and add them to my list for next year.
I do keep all handmade cards, and occasionally an especially beautiful card just for sentimental reasons. When I was teaching I used to let the children in my class cut up last year's cards to make cards for their family. I have also used pictures from last year's cards to make gift tags in the current year.
I have strings around the loungeroom walls on which I hang the cards to display them.