Parenting Guru: Holiday cards, the forgotten tradition

I miss holiday cards.

It used to be that around December my mailbox filled with bright, colored envelopes from both near and far. And inside the envelopes were cards from friends and family and once, the Taco Bell down the street (um, I might have been a frequent diner there before my latest cholesterol test).

But in the last few years, the little garland I hang my Christmas cards upon has become woefully sparse. Oh sure, my dentist sends me one every year. And Great Aunt Gertrude sends me a photo of her cats in Santa hats every year. But a lot of my friends and family seem to have given up on the tradition of sending holiday cards.

I miss that tradition. Look, I used to be able to open an envelope and without looking at the return address or opening the card, I could tell immediately who sent it. A picture of Santa doing something naughty on a rooftop? My husband's college roommate. Mickey and Minnie Mouse? My aunt and uncle who are crazy for Disney. A photo-montage of science projects? A friend whose child is destined to send rockets into space.

But now? My mailbox is filled with home decor catalogs and invitations to car dealerships for their year-end model closeouts. It's not the same thing, really.

Oh, sure, many of my friends still send holiday cards - but they are e-cards now. Honestly? As cute as those are (and they are really cute and I do love them), they aren't the same. For me, I don't get the same thrill opening an e-card as I do when I open an actual holiday card.

And don't even get me started on the people who upload a photo onto Facebook and caption it with "Happy Holidays." Seriously? A Facebook status update to 593 of your closest friends isn't the same as a card hand-signed by an actual human. Or, in the case of my Great Aunt Gertrude, with a cat print on it.

I'm sure as years go by, I'll start to send e-cards. But for right now, today, I'm signing a bunch of cards, enclosing a picture of my child and heading off to the mailbox. Because as much as I miss getting holiday cards, I'd miss sending them even more.

What about you?

Do you send holiday cards?

Do you miss receiving holiday cards? Or are you over them?

Are there any other traditions that you miss this time of year?

Manic Motherhood is a blog written by Laurie Sontag, a newspaper columnist, mother and blogger. You can read more of her work at Manic Motherhood or catch her on Facebook, where she hangs out as much as possible so she can avoid laundry.