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Are Christmas Cards Dead? Or Just on Life Support?

christmas card, photo cards

The last time you'll see one of these?

Over on Slate, Kate Julian wants to know: where are the holiday cards. It’s less than a week before Christmas and she’s only received four — one of which was misaddressed but she opened it and put it on the mantle anyway.

Can you blame her?

I can’t. My family has only received six (all addressed to us, incidentally, but maybe I’m just showing off). Usually, by this time, I’ve got more than a dozen — sometimes a stack so big I have to cull as new ones come in. This year, I’ve got a thank you note from our realtor hanging with the six actual holiday cards just to give our Wall-of-Christmas a little more umph.

But back to Julian. She’s polled the folks at Slate and everyone reports a noticeable drop in Christmas cards,too. Among the speculation about just what’s going on, they’re blaming the economy, e-cards, record number of moms (read: Christmas card organizers) back to work, electronic contacts not including physical addresses. But I’ll cut to the chase and pick Option 5: Facebook.

Mark Zuckerberg killed the holiday card.

On Facebook, we saw the latest kid photos just last week, we’re up-to-the-minute on what everyone’s up to (chocolate chip pancakes for breakfast, huh?), there’s no reason to take the time once a year to remember those we care about. All we have to do is “friend” them and we’re good!

Ahhh, but Christmas cards. Christmas cards! I’m such a huge cheapskate procrastinator (ours went out just yesterday), I’m such a likely candidate to have never gotten into the holiday card business in the first place. And yet. I love them. I do them every year, and pretty much everyone who gets one is a friend on FB. Why? I’m not sure, but I think it’s for selfish reasons: in the past, you had to give to get and I love to get.

But maybe I’ll have to learn to love to get something else. Because if this isn’t the year Christmas cards died, it’s definitely the year they went into a life-threatening coma.

Only four days left, but at this point? Turning around our lackluster stack of cards will take a true Christmas miracle.

It’s still not too late to send e-cards, either. Here’s a list of the best free e-greeting cards.

What about you? Did you get them? Did you send them? Why or why not?

Photo: Longoria via WikiCommons

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