As with most things that get outrageously procrastinated in our household, sending out this year’s Christmas Card was a team effort. Our strategy involved a similar task breakdown as used in past years: Mitali brainstorms, assembles, and writes the entire card; and I find ways of putting off sending it out until the last possible moment.
In somewhat of a break with tradition, this year I actually tried to get involved in the more creative aspects of the process and, in doing so, nearly sabotaged the entire undertaking. One evening in November as we both sat on the sofa watching the Daily Show, Mitali raised the Christmas card topic. For reasons I still don’t comprehend, I immediately volunteered to spearhead the whole effort and then promptly forgot about it entirely.
We were halfway through December by the time Mitali realized that Christmas cards were nowhere on my radar. Jumping into action, she assembled a beautiful card all while Sonya assisted by randomly hitting Caps Lock on her keyboard and requesting YouTube videos every 30 seconds. “The card is in your inbox,” she told me that evening. “When you get a chance, can you assemble an email list and send it out?”
It turns out that “when you get a chance” actually was not a reference to Christmas Eve (when I actually sent them), but rather to December 18th, the day after she made the comment. The good news is that the cards did go out – and in the process, I discovered something particularly wonderful about sending them by email.
This year, for the first time, we sent out a digital Christmas card. Despite being both more environmentally friendly and less expensive, initially I was concerned about how our digital card would be regarded. However, checking my email on Christmas day, I discovered over a dozen emails in response to our Christmas card. Far from feeling concerned, I felt elated that the Christmas card had actually initiated conversations, some with friends and family I hadn’t spoken with in nearly a year.
It was at this point that I realized an unexpected and very real benefit of digital Christmas cards: they create an easy way to start a dialogue. How often do we read someone’s Christmas card and want to pass along congratulations, sympathy, or even simply a question to learn more about their past year? A digital card makes doing this as easy as hitting the reply button. And while such a card can’t be set on the mantel or placed around the Christmas tree, reconnecting with so many friends and families makes the holidays feel very full.