The Infamous Christmas Card

Let’s talk for a moment about Christmas cards. 

The Christmas letter used to be my biggest event. That was, of course, before I had a blog. Now every day is Christmas (yay!). Seriously though, putting together and getting out a Christmas card gives me serious anxiety. Who do I send it to? I have ten siblings on my side, four on Jason’s, a smattering of aunts and uncles/faux aunts and uncles who aren’t particularly computer savvy…if I were to mail a card to every single person I loved and cared for Walmart would run out of paper. 

To make matters worse, two years ago, during the December move from Maryland to Utah, I lost my carefully accumulated collection of contacts, located in a very beat up address book, to a gas station trash can. Now when I try to assemble a Christmas list, I get hives. Who have I forgotten? Will they think I hate them? What if they don’t send me a card because I didn’t send them one? My friendship radar kind of goes bizerk. 

And so, to simplify my life next year, I’ve developed a new strategy. I am ordering 50 Christmas cards. Siblings, parents and grandparents will go in the mail, leaving me 32 stamped, unaddressed envelopes. 

I will then carefully sift through the mail each day, and the first 32 people to send me Christmas cards will get cards in return. It seems like the only fair, impartial way for me to guiltlessly and fairly dispense my much-anticipated (by my mother) Christmas card. 

The big question is this: How many of you copped out and emailed it this year (Michelle, you don’t have to answer that one)? Hey, with the price of stamps/paper/glitter and the faltering economy, it all counts. Digital or paper, if you got it done then good on ya.


  1. We’re super wealthy, and like Jim Carrey, not in a recession and doing really well, so we sent sent out thousands of cards. Many to people we didn’t know! Thanks for asking.

  2. I knew someone would punish me for emailing it!
    O.K. next year you get a real one. But, if you only send it to the first 32, aren’t you sort of punishing your disorganized friends? Aren’t you really saying that the great rewards only go to the friends who are so on-the-ball they actually planned ahead to get pictures taken by professionals, instead of asking the babysitter to snap a few pictures of you all before you head to the Elder’s Quorum Christmas party the Friday before Christmas because it is the first time your husband has been home while the baby is still awake on the same day that you actually did your hair? (she did a good job, though, didn’t she? we paid her extra for that) Because it seems like the Annie I know would reward that kind of effort, knowing as she does, that those of us who send our cards after Christmas, and via email, need those wonderful Christmas letters that let us know we are not alone in the world of frazzled motherhood more than the super moms with the matching sweaters pictures who have their cards to you on Black Friday.

    Have I made my case yet?

  3. I did nothing at all, no card no email, no nothing.

    What can I say? I’m a loser.

  4. If I sent you one now, would that count?

  5. I have to admit: I’ve NEVER sent out Christmas cards before.

  6. I haven’t sent out Christmas cards since, well, NEVER! Every year I think I might, but then don’t. Good thing I’m on your VIP list, right?

  7. Hi Annie, I’m the one who’s got everyone on my address book on the computer and in goes the envelopes and out pops completely smashed and slashed ones. Yes, I’m so organized, but had to go out and get more envelopes and address 200 by hand. Only one came back returned and I know where my niece is. I just forgot she doesn’t go to school anymore. Today, I received about 50 cards. Probably like the ones you set-out to send to the people you get one from, and have to reciprocate. E-mail would be so wonderful. You should be President of the email Christmas Letter Drive for next year? I will nominate you at this time. Anyone second the motion? Love your blog! Susan

  8. I, very uncharacteristically, send out almost 100 Christmas cards each year… but that’s just to make up for the fact that I’ve forgotten every birthday, anniversary, regular phone calls, and other correspondence that I’ve been expected to remember and acknowledge throughout the previous year. It’s my great big “I’m sorry I suck” to all my friends and family. I figure I generally remember Christmas — not always, but generally.

  9. I did just exactly that– Only I did not mail to my sibs… they see me all the time. They” don’t need no stinkin’ christmas card.”

    I only ordered 30 this year– and I sent out 29. Easy peasy. Done.

    I really hate the whole Christmas card competition anyway. I am thinking about doing Valentines Cards this year instead of the stupid christmas cards. Everyone gets Christmas cards– but do they get Valentines in the mail? No, my point exactly!

    Happy Sunday.

  10. I did cards/letters this year in an attempt to make up for NOT doing them last year. I got far fewer this year–I think one year of not getting a card makes people just you from their lists.

  11. Annie,
    I do it the same way you are going to. I order 40 cards and send to family and who sent us one the year before then as I receive them in the mail I send one back. When they are gone they are gone.

  12. Hey! I emailed, but my husband has no job so I felt I had a good excuse. But I think I’ll do it next year. I sent my siblings and Matt’s siblings real copies however.

    BUT I heard yours was really cute. Maybe I’ll have to come see it. The thrill kind of went out for me with writing the card this year also. I can write to my friends whenever I want? But I’ve been saving all mine in a binder as a little family history. So I did it again. It just wasn’t as fun.

  13. Wow- you get 32 Christmas cards from people? Clearly I’m a LOOOOOOOSER. I think I got…..3. Wow. I need more friends. It might be due to the fact that I email mine. But I attach a cute photo collage to Christmas music to the email, so that should earn me a couple more cards, right?

    Also, wa-holy, I had no idea you and Jen had so many siblings. No wonder your family is more exciting than mine (variety, man.)

  14. I have nothing to say in a Christmas Letter but yet I have everything to say on my blog. That’s why I send out a Christmas card that refers people to my blog. Hahaha

  15. I bought the cute snowflake stationery with matching envelopes, purchased the stamps, and my husband printed out all the address labels. I’ve even written the newsletter. But I haven’t sent them out, yet. Because I am busy doing other stuff. Like this.

    And I am calling it a New Year’s Newsletter. So I can mail it any time in the New Year.

  16. I send them out every five years or so. Because I won’t send them out unless I feel like the letter’s funny, and apparently I’m on a five year turn for funny Christmas letters. I only send them to family, my friends can suck on it.

    Happy Holidays. :>

  17. I saved trees and emailed my Christmas letter…because let’s be honest, they are going to throw it away anyway…I do!