All year long, I use email, SMS and social networks to communicate with people. I leave a lot of digital footprints, but nothing that would survive a terrible magnet attack. The exception is the card that I mail every Christmas season. Since I have read several anti-card posts this week, I am going to attempt to explain why I am pro-cards.
1. Making the card is a memory that I treasure. While photographing this year’s card, one of the children declared that their arms were going to fall off their body. Doug and I spontaneously stopped what we were doing, extended our arms to our sides and made little circles. “Now, spin counter-clockwise.” Every card we make has stories.
2. The picture is a snapshot of a moment in time that captures a year of growth, personality and relationships. Someday, I hope that the children look back and notice their older sibling interacting with them in the card pictures. I see the changes from year to year as I learn what does and does not work when photographing a diverse group of children.
3. Christmas cards are one of the only pieces of mail that are neither junk nor bills. Remember when mail actually brought letters and cards? That kind of excitement at the arrival of the mail carrier is something that is almost extinct.
4. Mail is an endangered species. It will cease to exist in my lifetime. I will celebrate the nostalgia of the USPS for as long as it exists. When it goes away, so will Christmas cards.
5. Christmas cards from other people are contributions to our holiday decor. Serious, silly and other images that make our Christmas more diverse, colorful and nostalgic.
6. Cards from years past move old memories out of pine needle littered boxes and into the present. Babies that are now teenagers, friends that have moved far away and loved ones who have left us are temporarily with us again. It’s important to remember.
7. Christmas cards make me happy. Everyone needs more happy.