Joy in the Mailbox

Truth be told, my favorite part of Christmas is getting the mail out of the mailbox! For the other eleven months of the year, there’s not much to look forward to amongst the bills, credit card offers and mass-mailed advertisements. But during the holidays, people actually send real-live-honest-to-goodness-hand-signed-cards/letters, and what a treat it is! The whole family knows that it’s Mom’s prerogative to collect the mail, and to cross mom is risky business.

It’s much better to hold a card in your hand than to get a message in your e-mail inbox that reads “So & So Sent You a Card”. Really? That ranks right up there with a “Gift” on Facebook: completely, totally and utterly useless. What am I going to do with a virtual Ice Cream Cone? Sure there aren’t any calories, but the sender didn’t give any thought about what flavor I liked best or come with me to enjoy eating it together, which is what friendship is all about. Remember this, dear reader: The tangible will always trump the digitally simulated!

While I love hand-stamped cards the most, I do have a few criteria by which I judge exceptional holiday greetings:

  1. First and foremost…don’t just send a picture of your kids! While I’m sure that your children are the most talented, adorable, brilliant creatures to walk this planet, what I want to see is YOU. The parents. My friends. If I’m being totally candid, I want to see if the effects of gravity are working on you as much as they are on me, but most of all, it’s YOUR face I want to see and smile back at. 
  2. Give me the dirt, but not the dump truck. I revel in reading the report of your past year, but one page is plenty. More than a page is like being forced to eat a whole chocolate cake…it started out sweet and delicious, but by the end you want to throw up.
  3. To get the “Holy Grail” Merit of Christmas Greeting Cards (and get a place in the Christmas Album I keep from year to year), jot a personal note in your handwriting!

Before I continue, let me give a disclaimer: My own family has had an almost-20-year tradition of sending Thanksgiving cards. We would mass produce close to 180 hand-stamped cards early in the autumn, and getting them out FIRST seemed to remind people to return the greeting sometime during the ensuing holiday season. It also provided the perfect opportunity to express our gratitude for our friends and family, and it is certainly heart-felt appreciation. And occasionally, we don’t have time to write a personal greeting in each, but sometimes we try.

Last year we decided that since our surname is “Spendlove”, it would make sense to send VALENTINES! So we have switched to sending holiday greetings in February, and now our mailing list is MUCH smaller, as I don’t feel the need to send someone a card who hasn’t at least contacted me in the last year >:D 

Now we get to the good part: Let me share some of the first hand-crafted cards I’ve received from my awesome friends so far this season!! (I’m sharing those who have used at least one Stampin’ Up! product and will post more on my Stampin’ Up! Facebook page as they arrive). Hope you’ll send me one of yours, too!

Clockwise from top left: From Suzie, Bobbie, Lacy, Leara and Shelli.

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