Monday, December 17, 2012

The Christmas Card Economic Index

Here's a new economic indicator we can use:  how many Christmas cards have you received?  We've gotten six and three are from family.  Has the expense of purchasing and mailing any greeting cards killed the industry generally, is it the region in which we live, or has the past years' economic downturn and lack of significant improvement been the death knell for Christmas cards?  It seems worse this year than any other.  By this time in December, the front of my secretary desk is usually covered with cards, but this year's display is paltry.

The people from which we would expect to receive a card are not out of work, to the best of my knowledge, but are they penny pinching to be safe?  Counting the cost of cards and postage, each holiday greeting can set you back $1.00 to $1.50, and that's if you buy the cheap ones.  We're using up the ones we had left over  from past years at my house, and had just enough, although I did purchase a few specialized cards for Mom, my brother and his kids.  We sent about 35 cards - you can calculate the cost.  Ouch.

But I  wasn't going to forgo sending Christmas cards - it's an essential part of the season to me, the same as baking cookies for the goody baskets I give to the neighbors, the postman, garbage men, and others.  Baking is expensive but I didn't want to give up the activities that make the season special for me.

At least not yet.

Addendum (12/18/12):
OK, just as I was bemoaning the lack of Christmas finances to complement the Christmas spirit, I received my mail and got six cards in one batch.  I guess the problem isn't technology or money, it's procrastination!  Probably more will arrive today.


momtofatdogs said...

In my opinion (take it for what it's worth....)I don't think it has one thing to do with the economy. I think it has everything to do with technology. I never sent out cards & probably wont start now. That being said, I have "heard" from people via email & facebook that I have not "heard" from in decades. Keep in mind - that is NOT how I communicate. Not with family & not with friends. It distresses me that some of my FRIENDS send me messages through facebook. Really? Is it really asking too much for someone to pick up the phone & say: "Hey! We're having a birthday party! Wanna come" or for goodness sake, send an invitation! Maybe we're just old school....? I don't know! But I blame it on technology. 100%


The Calico Cat said...

This has been fairly normal for a while for me. With a few exceptions, I only get a card when the sender is including a gift card or a check.

Another norm that seems to be slipping - baking & decorating.

I have several acquaintances, co-workers, & friends that just can't be bothered.
One GF said that she will bake cookies if her grandchildren show an interest, they have never been exposed so how do they know to show an interest.
Another GF isn't putting a up a tree - too much bother (no kids, works all the time, will go to mom's house for Christmas, etc.)

Hanukkah never has been about decorating or baking cookies... I did make latkes from scratch this year. I skipped making them a couple years is a row opting for frozen or store bought instead.)

I think that Hanukkah cards are a fairly recent Hallmark thing to do.

Back to the core of your question, I also do not get letters anymore - e-mail & texts are the norm these days.

I too blame technology.

Tanya said...

So funny about the 6 tardy cards! I'm afraid I am in the procrastination group... But in Japan I've got til the 31 before I'm delinquent! Let's see... on my wall I've got 4 Christmas cards...