Christmas Cards: Why They Matter

12/05/2020

When I was a child, I used to be overjoyed when a classmate would hand me a Christmas card. As someone who was often bullied or had a limited amount of friends (like.. one or two), the Christmas card time of year always made me feel like I was a part of the school. Like I mattered in some way as people didn't forget about me. It always felt special and that feeling has carried over into adulthood. Quite obviously, 2020 has been a 'tits up' kind of year so I think it's important now more than ever to reach out to people away from social media. Don't get me wrong, sending a 'how are you?' text can literally save someone's sanity, but I think sending something handwritten and personal is a much bigger gesture. It's a great way of reaching out to those you may not usually message online, such as those neighbors that you tend to just say 'hi' to or those Internet friends that you may only talk to once every week but still have a place in your heart. Heck, even cousins who you normally only speak to on birthdays or during big life changes. Sometimes an intimate touch matters. 

As I'm currently stuck in the US over Christmas, I've made more of an effort this year to send cards to people in the UK who are either distant family or friends who have helped out my mother or Granddad, and it honestly feels great to be back in contact with them (I had to ask their addresses). If you're a little socially awkward, this is a great opportunity to message those people who you want to randomly message but are afraid of seeming "weird" or "annoying". Social anxiety is a bish. After messaging people - who all responded with kindness, btw - I had a total of 37 cards to write. Now, a month ago, I would've said that I don't know that many people. I wouldn't of even thought I'd have 10 cards to write this year. But you know, once you put yourself out there and are brave, a lot can happen. 

So, though short, this is your official reminder to reach out to people over the festive season, even if it's just for a 'can I send you a Christmas card?' question. If you're anxious like me when it comes to being the first person to message or put yourself out there, just think, how would I feel if they messaged me with this question? The answer is usually something positive. You can do this. Make someone's day and be the courageous person I know you can be. 

Do you write Christmas cards? Do you enjoy receiving cards? Let me know. 

Side-note: For those among us who don't like waste and try to not buy anything unnecessary, I strongly recommend you either go to a charity shop or animal shelter's website to see if they sell cards (usually they're made from recycled paper), and if you receive any cards, you can turn them into gift cards, reuse the imagery on the front to make your own Christmas cards the following year (my personal favourite), and if you're a reader, you could even turn the fronts into bookmarks. If you want to keep the message written instead, create a scrapbook with one of those notebooks you don't know what to do with. Cards matter, feeling matter, they aren't wasteful. 

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