Author Topic: Christmas cards for those that don't send you one?  (Read 6370 times)

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Penguin_ar

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Christmas cards for those that don't send you one?
« on: November 28, 2012, 07:32:40 AM »
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?

EmmaJ.

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Re: Christmas cards for those that don't send you one?
« Reply #1 on: November 28, 2012, 08:54:38 AM »
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

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Re: Christmas cards for those that don't send you one?
« Reply #2 on: November 28, 2012, 09:28:26 AM »
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)



 

JennJenn68

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Re: Christmas cards for those that don't send you one?
« Reply #3 on: November 28, 2012, 09:29:24 AM »
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.

Shoo

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Re: Christmas cards for those that don't send you one?
« Reply #4 on: November 28, 2012, 10:04:08 AM »
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.

dawbs

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Re: Christmas cards for those that don't send you one?
« Reply #5 on: November 28, 2012, 10:15:56 AM »
You're not obligated to keep sending them...
but that said, I don't get around to Christmas cards--or haven't in 10 years.  and I dearly love getting them.

Sharnita

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Re: Christmas cards for those that don't send you one?
« Reply #6 on: November 28, 2012, 10:20:53 AM »
Since you mention that it is not common to your original background:

People can thank you for a card but they don't have to.  People can reciprocate but it is not required.  You can use various criteria to decide who gets a card and who doesn't.  Some people use family closeness, other people base it on who sends them cards, etc.

In other words, they haven't been rude but if you choose to stop sending cards at this point neither are you.

Hmmmmm

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Re: Christmas cards for those that don't send you one?
« Reply #7 on: November 28, 2012, 10:31:02 AM »
I send Christmas cards to people who don't send out Christmas cards. They are mostly older relatives who don't send anymore or even some friends/family that just don't do Christmas cards.  But for more acquintance type people that ended up on our list, we'll remove them after a couple years of not receiving ones.

I do understand JennJenn's perspective, though I've not encountered it that I'm aware of.  I can see where she feels a once a year contact seems very superficial.  But since I remember my parents receiving Christmas cards with short notes from people they hadn't seen for decades but stayed in once a year Christmas contact, this has always seemed normal to me.  I now have college friends who I haven't seen in a decade but still enjoy getting the card, especially if it is a photo card showing their growing family.  I do enjoy a short personal message over a generic family news letter sent to everyone one.

Since we hand address, hand sign, and write short personal notes to everyone, I actually enjoy the exercise because it does give me to time to think about the person or family I'm contacting and I'll often reflect back on times we've spent together. 

JaneJensen

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Re: Christmas cards for those that don't send you one?
« Reply #8 on: November 28, 2012, 10:31:21 AM »
  I don't send cards, I don't reciprocate, and I don't thank people for cards unless they directly ask me. Why? It's nothing personal against the sender. I just feel that that Christmas cards are headed to the land of 8 tracks and typewriters. They really are antiquated. With facebook and e-mail and every other form of instant communication, there really is no need for the annual " catch up " Christmas card and obligatory school photo because people keep up with you and your family on a minute -by-minute basis now.
  it seems silly and expensive to send out cards to people that I just posted to on Facebook, you know?  There are a couple people I feel bad about not sending a card to- older generation folk that do not use social media, but then I think- why don't they? Get online gramma, there's a hundred pictures of your grandkids you're missing.
  So cards, yeah, I just can't being myself to care about them. I of course would never say that to the sender, that's so rude, but I don't call and thank them either.


mj

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Re: Christmas cards for those that don't send you one?
« Reply #9 on: November 28, 2012, 01:03:25 PM »
Since you mention that it is not common to your original background:

People can thank you for a card but they don't have to.  People can reciprocate but it is not required.  You can use various criteria to decide who gets a card and who doesn't.  Some people use family closeness, other people base it on who sends them cards, etc.

In other words, they haven't been rude but if you choose to stop sending cards at this point neither are you.

I agree with this.

And JennJenn, you're not alone.  I have been asked why I don't display Christmas cards by those who use their family photos on them.  I would prefer just to receive a photo that I can use all year long, rather than a card meant for a specific holiday season.  I have been sharply rebuked for my opinion but I do find it a bit wasteful and am hard pressed to display them because of this.  The Christmas missives can also tend to turn my stomach if written in certain ways (some writers *are* excellent though and does not make it sound like a brag nor tell me things that I already knew about them since I see them all the time anyway) and go against the grain of what I consider the holiday season. So, you're not alone.

Allyson

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Re: Christmas cards for those that don't send you one?
« Reply #10 on: November 28, 2012, 01:15:01 PM »
I don't do Christmas cards, nor do most of the people I know. I don't do Christmas to begin with, and even if I did, cards just aren't my thing. I don't *mind* getting them, but I have received Christmas cards from people I haven't seen in years and in those case I don't track them down to thank them--I assume since I'm getting one and they barely know me, they're sending out a boatload. It never occurred to me they would want me to do that. If it were someone I saw frequently I'd say something.

But I think it's fine to not send yours, because if they aren't sending out cards, they can't exactly be offended that you don't send to them, right? I have a bit of anxiety myself about getting cards and presents, but I accept them in generous spirit. In most cases the spirit *is* generous and they are happy. If they were upset about my not reciprocating, well, they obviously don't know me that well and haven't been listening to me anyway!

Deetee

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Re: Christmas cards for those that don't send you one?
« Reply #11 on: November 28, 2012, 02:23:07 PM »
If it makes you happy and/or it makes the recipient happy send them.

Penguin_ar

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Re: Christmas cards for those that don't send you one?
« Reply #12 on: November 28, 2012, 02:28:33 PM »
Thanks for the replies so far. I would always send cards (and kiddie photos) to the grandparents.  They don't send a card back but they do thank me on the phone and I know they love getting them and showing off the photos at church.  With some of my siblings-in-laws though, I technically don't even know they are getting them- we don't really talk outside of the holidays, some live half the country away, and frankly, yes, postage is an issue for me too, it adds up and feels kind of wasted when I don't get a card or a thank you. I don;t think they are rude for not sending any, but it just seems a very one sided thing.  Oh, and they are all Christian so I am not offending by sending the cards (I also have non-photo general winter cards for my non-Christian friends), and I don't send a letter with it.

BTW, for those who says they prefer just a photo to look at all year: This may be a regional thing but several of my friends here put all their photo Christmas cards on the fridge and use it as a prayer list all year  :)
« Last Edit: November 28, 2012, 02:36:48 PM by Penguin_ar »

Sharnita

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Re: Christmas cards for those that don't send you one?
« Reply #13 on: November 28, 2012, 02:32:57 PM »
Another point, sometimes people might feel unequal in their situation.  For axample, I have no kids so no pictures of kids.  I don't look much different so I wouldn't send a photo of me.  Not really news about myself and once again no kids so no newsletter.  I frequently do try to get out cards but it is just a bit different.

Yvaine

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Re: Christmas cards for those that don't send you one?
« Reply #14 on: November 28, 2012, 02:47:43 PM »
Another point, sometimes people might feel unequal in their situation.  For axample, I have no kids so no pictures of kids.  I don't look much different so I wouldn't send a photo of me.  Not really news about myself and once again no kids so no newsletter.  I frequently do try to get out cards but it is just a bit different.

I would say that probably 90% of the Christmas cards I've ever received had no photos or newsletter, just the card and a little note scribbled inside. Is this weird? I'd never think to feel inadequate if that was all I had to send.