Christmas cards: a superficial tradition that should end

Charlotte Guy

Every year, countless Christmas cards flood my mailbox, covered with beaming faces and clip art snowflakes from acquaintances, friends, and family. For many, these cards are a yearly tradition that marks the beginning of the holidays, but I find them to be an insulting and antiquated custom that should have died out years ago.

These cards are an emblem of the classism and snobbery that infests our society. The phony smiles, the lavish vacation pictures, and the perfectly ironed outfits with button-up t-shirts create a pitiful façade that screams “look how much better my family is than yours.” 

Yes, I am slightly biased seeing as my family has never once sent a Christmas card, but that is because we know that no one actually cares and it would most likely be stuffed in a drawer only to be thrown away in the following month.

If it isn’t left to sit forgotten somewhere, it will have an even worse fate: to be paraded atop a mantelpiece next to the myriad of other insincere cards to cushion the recipient’s false sense of importance and to show to their guests just how ‘popular’ they are. It just seems like a weird popularity contest.

What’s worse is they have lost any semblance of their original meaning: to celebrate the holidays. Maybe Shutterfly’s templates are bordered in green and have an image of holly, but Christmas cards have evolved to become just a superficial ode to the season. 

Their lack of any form of personalization tied with the ubiquity of social media has further cemented these cards into insincere and gratuitous sentiments. If anyone truly cared to wish someone a happy holiday, they wouldn’t do so through such an impersonal method.

I will admit that I occasionally catch myself smiling at some of the quirkier photos of people and their dogs, but my distaste towards Christmas cards is not directed at this small percentage of senders. 

I am looking at those who devote their day and money to buy a professional photographer for photos that are used once, who laminate, who purposely pick their destination pictures to be on the cover, who go over the top, those who are really just seeking to impress.   

The concept of Christmas cards will always remain utterly foreign to me, but I just hope that one day others will come to their senses and discard this ridiculous tradition.