An Unusual Christmas, Some Unusual Christmas Cards

I find myself in a bit of a conundrum. It seems wrong to approach this year with the sort of tongue-in-cheek family report I’ve written in previous years — I believe last year’s card involved news of Roo stuffing a bead up her nose. Luckily, stationery companies are here to fill the need! Let one stationery devotee walk you through some approaches, since I’m going to be obsessing over them anyway:

Approach 1: Wishing the Year Away

Pictured: from Minted, 100 for $130

This variety of cards kind of upset me. They’re funny, but I don’t want to completely dismiss the year, as hard as it’s been. (Similar sentiments also available at Shutterfly and Pinhole Press.) I mean, yes, it wasn’t great, but you’re alive and buying Christmas cards, so it could be worse. “We thought 2020 would never end” (link) strikes me as an improvement, as does “In hindsight 2020 was the longest year ever!” (link). And “2020—we got through” (link) seems more a rally of solidarity than a complaint.

Approach 2: Peace & Hope

Pictured: Peartree, 104 for $165.36 [why 104? I don’t know.]

This seems like a universally palatable wish in 2020 — not ostentatiously religious but encouraging. The one pictured is very much my favorite take of the bunch. (Similar cards at Paper Culture; these “hope always” ones are also good, especially if you don’t want a photo)

Approach 3: (Extra) Family Togetherness

Pictured: Simply to Impress, 100 for $94

In very large part I send Christmas cards each year so people who want a photo of my kids can have a photo of my kids. But I am still (probably too?) cautious about being braggy about my family. It’s true 2020 has taught us what’s really important so that if we have small kids at home we are probably extra grateful for them (when we aren’t contemplating strangulation), but it’s also important to me not to slip into a sort of #blessed mentality, especially because inevitably I’ll be sending cards to people not blessed in the same ways. The above one strikes a good balance, though, as does “Love was extra patient this year” (link) — and similarly, “Together more than ever—and we still love each other!” (link).

Approach 4: The Shared 2020 Experience

Pictured: Paper Culture, 100 for $128.80

“We laughed, we cried, we Zoomed, we made it” (link) and “Quarantine bingo” (link) also do a good job highlighting the unique, nearly universal experiences of this year — so does “Happy holidays, from our porch to yours” (link). But let’s all agree not to send each other toilet paper themed Christmas cards, ok? This feels like the holiday card equivalent of a Monica Lewinsky Halloween costume — entirely too topical and kind of crass.

How are you tackling Christmas cards this year? Are you more or less inclined to send them in 2020?

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