Over the years, Kerrfunk and I have become, somewhat, connoisseurs of Christmas cards. Due to his line of work, we receive several cards and we send out around 150 cards ourselves.
We think so much of Christmas cards, that after each glut of cards is received, we pick out our favorite designs/pictures. Those have been saved for several years and this year (2007) they're being placed into three ring binders so we may flip through and remember the pictures. *see favs of favs a few posts below*
Aside from receiving duplicate cards from one year to the next (we understand that you may not have used all the cards up from last year, so you're using them up this year...okay fine...just remember that we're watching, remembering, and giving you nightmares), we've noticed some other (disturbing) patterns:
1. The least you can do is to SIGN the card. We were especially amused to receive a card (yesterday, actually) which bore NO signature inside. Nothing, nada, zilch. No letter, nothing.
The return address label gave away the name of the culprit.
Like a friend suggested, maybe we'll save this blank, brand new card and mail it out ourselves next year (maybe to the person who sent it to us)! If you're in such a rush and cluttered state of mind to even remember to SIGN the card, I think it's more important for you to take a break from Christmas cards this year and rest up for NEXT Christmas!!
2. Our next concern involves several issues surrounding those nice 4 x 8 photograph cards of the happy family.
A. One concern is that people have gotten into the habit of simply addressing the envelope and inserting the photo card without including a nice signature or simple "How do?" somewhere on the card (front or back, we'd be happy with either). We know you don't want to spend a lot of time on Christmas cards, but at least personalize them a LITTLE bit!? Make them your own....not just something that comes straight from Snapfish, Shutterfly, or Walmart to the mailbox.
We offer some grace here.........we want to at least give kudos to those who HAND address their envelopes before inserting unsigned photo card. Congratulations on putting pen to paper...good show of effort! Next year, let's expand that to include a signature or note on the back of the photograph! We know you can do it!
This is also where it becomes give and take. We like to write little notes on our cards, BUT we computer print our labels and slap them on the envelopes. Guess our priority is in writing a signature or note on the card than hand addressing the envelopes?!
B. Is your NAME printed somewhere on your nice 4 x 8 photo card of the happy family? Although we love the challenge of figuring out WHO this lovely family IS that posed by the old oak tree this summer for their Xmas card photo, it'd make things a lot easier for US if you take advantage of the options available at Shapfish, Shutterfly, or Walmart and include, at the very least, a surname on your photo card! AND if you even care to include each family members' name, we'll feel like we've received the courtesies of courtesies from you!
If you can't include a name of some sort on your photo card, at least try to have your name in the return address section of the envelope. The return address always serves as an answer key to this exciting game we play each December.
C. Is the YEAR printed somewhere on your photo card? This is the most frequently overlooked item on Christmas cards. We don't mind so much when it's a store-bought illustrated Chrimas card, but when it's your nice happy family posing by the old oak tree, I might like to keep that photo tucked away for future reference. That's when it's helpful to have the year printed somewhere on the photo card. I usually end up jotting the year on the backs of several photo cards.
The year is also helpful on your family newsletters. In case we keep the newsletters for future reference, I usually make certain there's a date on the newsletter.
Bottom line...think back to grade school....make sure your name is on your paper! And a date is helpful, too.
Make your cards your own and we'll feel even more love spilling from that envelope when we open it!
P.S. We don't mean to sound ungrateful for the energy and effort you put into sending us your lovely Christmas cards each year. On the contrary, we enjoy perusing the cards very much...to the point of keeping the especially beautiful ones in a collection. And we ALWAYS keep the photo cards...no question!
Just felt the need to rant about patterns we notice in people....that ever-amusing species, whose antics are always worth the price of admission to this show we call life. Although I might be keeping my receipt for the money-back guarantee :-)
Oh, and if you want a professional critique of your Christmas cards without the professional fee, feel free to consult us first!