Do people still send Christmas cards? – Deseret News

This December, Robert Martin will travel to San Diego and become young again. That ’ s the plan, anyhow — one that formed earlier this year when the erstwhile BYU student had lunch with two of his brothers in Provo. They hadn ’ thymine celebrated Christmas as a syndicate since their ma and dad died in the ’ 90s. “ I truly think we need to start doing this again, ” Rob, now 66, told them. As the oldest of eight, he felt obligated to honor the way things used to be ; the direction things should be. Starting by reviving a family tradition. Growing up in Kansas City, Rob and his siblings would slice construction wallpaper with base hit scissors and sticky their fingers with Elmer ’ s in the name of assembling handmade Christmas cards. They ’ ve done so ever since, but not all together. Life has scattered the Martins across the West, making their holiday tradition hard to maintain. But Rob believes it can unite generations, can socialize the youthful into the family lore. They ’ ll assemble and tell stories about going to the Lake of the Ozarks as kids. They ’ ll laugh about the clock cousin Donnie nailed the door to the outhouse exclude with Uncle Ab inside. Or the time Rob ’ s brother, David, picked up a digress cat that turned out to be a rotter. All the while knowing that beneath the rejoice of reliving the past, an uncertain future for their family hobby simmers.

For many, Christmas cards have outlived their utility. With the proliferation of video chew the fat, texting, blogging and social media, there ’ s no longer the necessitate to keep friends and class updated in a annual letter. In the early 2000s, Americans mailed about two billion Christmas cards annually, according to data provided to MarketWatch by Hallmark. By 2015, those numbers had plummeted to 1.18 billion ( although over the final three years there has been a brace uptick ). The same factors causing their overall decline, Rob insists, make them more crucial than always — and could explain their holocene revival. The niche they once occupied is a recess no more, but they even offer something essential — and rare. Depending on how you define a Christmas card, they could date binding to 15th-century Germany or early on 20th-century Kansas City. Their accurate lineage, however, international relations and security network ’ thymine a significant as recognizing the many modern forms Christmas cards have taken. There ’ s the one photograph with the “ Season ’ s greetings from the Smiths ! ” caption ; there ’ s the family newsletter ; there ’ s the greeting poster variety show ; and there ’ s the homemade type Rob makes from construction newspaper and glitter. Rob ’ south ma, Mary, used to tack the variety of cards their family received onto green or red ribbons with double-sided Scotch tape, then hang the ribbons up on the wall near the family ’ second Christmas tree. binding then they numbered around 100. Rob keeps that custom going, but the numbers have dwindled to between 50 and 75.

Victoria Venturi, laminitis and CEO of Portland-based greeting cardmaker Paper Epiphanies, says Christmas cards still account for about 10 % to 15 % of her wholesale menu sales, but there ’ s been a definite descent in generic boxed Christmas card sales. “ Thirty years ago, seasonal was king, ” she says. “ Greeting card companies waited all year for Q4. And that ’ s just truly not the font anymore. ” today ’ second Christmas menu consumers, rather, are looking for something nongeneric, something identical personal. “ We find that our consumers are purchasing with person specifically in beware, ” she says. “ I think that ’ mho where we see the big shift. ” Where social media allows — even encourages — presenting a facade to the global, Christmas cards can be a space for sincerity and vulnerability. Their physical presence is one view of that argument, even for folks like 65-year-old Eileen Hansen, who admits that over the years her Christmas card exchanges have largely succumbed to the charm of telephone calls and electronic mail. “ I like the real tease in my hand, ” she says. “ It ’ s just a lot more personal than an electronic mail that I could copy and paste. ” It reminds her of her youth. When she would run up the driveway from her mailbox and plop down at her kitchen table to enjoy the day ’ south surprise admonisher from some faraway person that they ’ ra thinking about her. “ It good makes me feel like person cares, ” she says. Alona Perlin, 53, feels the same manner. She lives alone, away from her Shih Tzu, Princess, in Brooklyn. She sends Christmas cards describing their adventures every year, and getting cards in tax return helps her feel less alone. “ Somebody ’ s think of you, ” she says. “ And that ’ s a very uplift touch, that they ’ re taking the time to write to you and pick out a card for you. ” Rob, Eileen and Alona all joined a Facebook group dedicated to sharing Christmas cards with new people, along with about 1,700 others. Most members of the group are middle-age or older. That helps explain why Rob ’ s sol excited for his family gather in San Diego this December. It ’ ll spirit for his family, he hopes, like Christmas felt for him as a child — quick and cheery and aspirant and modern amid sol many reasons to feel jaded. rob wants his nieces and nephews and their descendants to recognize, at the very least, the likely of Christmas cards. He wants them to see what they can accomplish when done mighty. How they can connect with their by over crimson and green construction paper, with their memories of ma hanging the cards around the tree and dad reading the Nativity fib from the family Bible on Christmas Eve.

many of the people who ’ ve joined the Facebook group, including Rob, Eileen and Alona, are looking for that like thing : connection. It feels like we ’ rhenium constantly busy, Rob agrees ; like we ’ re always distracted and alone. But, as Alona observed, sending Christmas cards takes campaign. It requires writing, print, buy, making, mailing. It forces us to do something as annoying to our silicon sensibilities as licking envelopes and visiting the post office. Rather than a bland slab of newspaper, that ’ s what you ’ re actually sending when you send a Christmas card : your meter. And that ’ s one holiday give in short issue. This story appears in the December/January issue of  Deseret Magazine Learn more about how to subscribe.

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