General Etiquette > Holidays

Christmas cards for those that don't send you one?

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Every year since we moved to the USA 4 years ago (I am from Europe, husband is from here), I have created photo Christmas cards of my family and sent them to family and friends. I quite like creating the card online, but mostly do it because it seems to be a cultural"thing to do" here (at least here in Arkansas). But several of my husband's siblings never sent us a card in return (yes I am sure I have the right address for them), nor thank us for the card we sent, though we do meet up over the holiday season and they give small presents to our kids.  Etiquette wise, am I in the clear to stop sending them cards?

Well, technically, I guess you could - but maybe his family really enjoys the cards and loves seeing the photos, but due to financial reasons (postage is getting quite expensive!) they just can't reciprocate.

I know my grandparents loved getting cards and mail.  The highlight of their day was when the postman arrived.  But failing eyesight and mobility issues prevented them from replying.

In the interest of keeping good relations with in-laws, I think you continue sending the cards.

Redneck Gravy:
I send Christmas cards to people I care about, never thinking about receiving a card in return.  I also get cards from people I do not send to.  For me it's about sending a warm thought during the holiday season, I don't get the reciprocal issue, someone help me out here?

I don't send cheery letters, just a card.  Sometimes I enclose the latest pictures of the grandkids, sometimes I don't.  Obviously, if someone said stop sending them I would. 

If you want to stop sending them cards, stop, I don't see where anyone is "owed" a card either.  I think some people have different motives for sending cards (not you specifically) but I just do it because I want to.

Apparently, I skipped some distant, faraway aunt last year and she called me after the first of the year to see if we were okay.  So I sent her an Easter card.   

In some cases this is the only contact I have with some very distant old friends.  (it's almost like notifying them that we are still alive)


I'd have to say the opposite, although it might really depend on the individual circumstances, such as those described by EmmaJ.  Only you can know for sure about specific potential recipients.

I loathe getting Christmas cards.  I'm not as pathological as Harlan Ellison on the subject, but I simply do not enjoy them.  The "brag letters" inside, to me, make it infinitely worse; if I'm not close enough to you to have heard about all the wonderful things your kids have done as they happened, what on earth makes you think that I'd be interested in reading about them in a Christmas form letter?   That's my personal feeling, whether right or wrong.  I used to send Christmas cards because I felt I "had" to do so, but I stopped that seven years ago the year my mother died and I just didn't have any energy left to deal with a chore I detested.  And yet... people still send them to me.  People who don't know me well enough to talk to me more than once a year, and whom I haven't even seen for several years.  Other people who know my thoughts on the subject, but think that I "can't possibly be serious".  I wish they'd stop.  (And no, I don't tell them this unless they ask me directly.  And then they continue to ignore my wishes on the subject.  Family can be so much fun! ::))

I've been told, usually quite sharply, that I don't have the right to feel as I do, and that I should just keep quiet and allow people to "feel good" about sending out their Christmas missives.  And, on the whole, I do shut up about it, unless someone specifically asks me, or (as in this case) I feel that it's a good idea to show that there are people out there who really don't appreciate Christmas cards.

My two cents' worth.

I send cards to people regardless of whether I get one in return.  I just like sending Christmas cards!  It's something my mother always did, and now I do it.  People have been crossed off my list for various reasons over the years, but none of them because they didn't send ME a card.

But to answer your question, it's perfectly okay to stop sending cards to someone for any reason that suits you.  Cards are optional in the first place.


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