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View Poll Results: Do You Still Send Christmas Cards via Post Office?
Yes. I'm old fashioned. Nothing like traditional cards via a physical mailbox. 30 51.72%
Yes. Only to those who aren't socially connected via the net 6 10.34%
No. I but I do e-cards. 1 1.72%
No way! Bah Humbug! 21 36.21%
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Old 11-18-2010, 03:49 PM   #21
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I usually do an annual Holiday letter, using nice templates at Microsoft's extensive online library (see http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/te...010152732.aspx)
My letter will sent out by email sometime between December 25 and Jan 6. I will also personally telephone adopted family both near and far. I figure most people will be so busy prior to Christmas they will not have time to spend reading my blitherings.

My Mom celebrated 2 Christmas holidays, the traditional Dec 25 Christmas and Jan 6, the end of the season as she was accustomed to doing in her Greek Orthodox upbringing.

from Greek and Cretan Christmas customs, Greek New Year, and Epiphany celebration Christmas tends to be a quiet, solemn, season. In some areas, the holiday is preceded by a time of fasting. For Greece, the season is in full swing by December 6th, the Feast of St. Nicholas when presents are exchanged, and will last through January 6th, the Feast of Epiphany.

I carry on that tradition. I will always cook some Greek food on Jan 6. Mr Boston is a huge Greek food fan, so I will pull out all the stops in Jan 2011. Roasted lamb, spanakopita (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spanakopita), moussaka (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moussaka), pastitsio (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pastitsio), vasilopita (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vasilopita)

Yum yum yum.

Some Xmas trivia you all might enjoy....

Xmas: This abbreviation for Christmas is of Greek origin. The word for Christ in Greek is Xristos. During the 16th century, Europeans began using the first initial of Christ's name, "X" in place of the word Christ in Christmas as a shorthand form of the word. Although the early Christians understood that X stood for Christ's name, later Christians who did not understand the Greek language mistook "Xmas" as a sign of disrespect
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Old 11-18-2010, 04:11 PM   #22
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I'm with you HFWR. I have a short list of special folks that I chose cards for and include a (sometimes lengthly) personal note. Most return the favor. It's a brief break from life's "fast track" that we enjoy every year. 51 weeks of rushed "point and clicking." One week of thoughtful, hand written notes on cards I picked with them in mind. I enjoy spending a little time that way.

When my mom was still alive, she liked to bake treats for local family members at the holidays. When two of her nephews thanked her with emails (sent to her through me - she had no email account or computer), we responded by sending them an email with a pic of a plate of cookies the following year!
I bake some special holiday brownies...

Ho-Ho-Ho!
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Old 11-18-2010, 04:12 PM   #23
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...mousaka
Moose caca?
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Old 11-18-2010, 04:14 PM   #24
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I bake some special holiday brownies...

Ho-Ho-Ho!
Excellent! And no way to send those in an e-card!
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Old 11-18-2010, 04:17 PM   #25
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Must admit we don't send any cards. I am happy not to receive them either, because it does bug me that a tree loses it life so I can have a pretty average card sitting on my mantle for a few days. I hate getting those letters which are not personalised and just full of bragging. Even worse to me are those who send out those Costco cards which are pictures of their kids. I know it is each to their own, but to me if you are going to send a Xmas card make it a christmas scene with xmas words involving traditional scenes.

However, that said, I do like the creativity of Al, maybe we should start our own email cards to a favoured few every year.
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Old 11-18-2010, 05:11 PM   #26
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At my place of work, they have e-cards to send corporate greetings. These used to be run by IT, but we in IT (I've since moved) got fed up with them and the communications people took over.

The cards are housed on an external site. You connect to the site, pick a design, type a message, and your sincere, heartfelt greetings are sent to the recipient. How nice. How eco-friendly.

(Aside: I think e-cards suck - it reminds me of an ad for subscriptions to a humorous magazine which said "Give a subscription! It's the gift that says, you're worth about $14.99", only in this case it's the card that says that you're worth 8 seconds of my time while I paste in your e-mail address.)

Back to the story: of course, the borderline narcissists who like to send these things don't stoop to doing it themselves. They get their secretaries (people under 40: ask your parents) to do it for them. So the secretaries are calling IT (ha, wrong department) at 3pm on Christmas Eve asking how they can get their boss's sincere seasonal greetings out to 200 recipients (answer: you can't, it's one e-mail address per card).

Now, the kicker: we use much the same spam filtering software as everyone else. On our system, by default, everything which gets more than 5.0 points is flagged as spam, and if our users follow our recommended configuration, that means it'll go straight to the spam folder and never be read. On this system, these e-cards all score about 9.5. So probably 90% of them are discarded by the recipient's e-mail system anyway. Merry Christmas indeed!
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Old 11-18-2010, 05:31 PM   #27
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Yep. I still send traditional Christmas cards but just to distant relatives and friends that I only correspond with once a year by way of the Christmas card. I probably mail out about 25 cards in all. It is just a way to keep in touch and let them know I am thinking about them even though we are not in regular correspondence. I feel the need not to lose touch with them completely.
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Old 11-18-2010, 05:43 PM   #28
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Even though I don't like killing all those trees, I still send physical cards to about 130 people. But only because I am obligated to send to all my employees and Corp peers/others. If I sent only to people I actually care about, it would be more like 20-25 people. If I ever retire, it'll be 20-25 for sure...
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Old 11-18-2010, 05:56 PM   #29
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To me, the process of buying a manufactured paper card with someone else's poem, signing it, mailing it far away, so someone can know that you wish them well, and place it in the recycling bin, is a gigantic waste of time, trees and sincerity. It was fine for the 19th century. About 10 years ago someone sent me a Jacquie Lawson animated ecard http://www.jacquielawson.com/ and I loved it. I have had an annual subscription ever since. For $12 annually I can keep my mailing list on their site and can send unlimited cards with personalized messages. There are a couple of older relatives who expect written cards and are very disappointed if they don't get them. So I send perhaps three paper cards per year. If anyone else has a favourite ecard site, please post it on this thread so we can ring the changes!
I recently received one of these jacquielawson cards (the cat card, Playful Portrait) and was completely enchanted by it. I will have to to join to send greetings to various friends and relatives throughout the year. Thanks, Meadbh. Very reasonable annual fee, too.
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Old 11-18-2010, 06:22 PM   #30
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I'm kinda conflicted about the whole card thing, but it is tradition, and I think those come with built-in conflicts.

Yes, e-cards are more eco-friendly, but heck, it's once a year. What would Al Gore Jesus do?

DW likes to send pics of the kids. Even though I'm not religious, it is a religious holiday, and I feel that should be respected, though I prefer thoughtful winter, reflective type scenes, rather than overt religious cards, you can just reflect on whatever thoughts you have (pass the Parmesan, please). Guess who wins ? And we do get lots of comments from people who seem to appreciate seeing the kids growing up, though I still tell DW, include a pic in the card, best of both worlds. Guess who wins ? The LBYM in me notes that picture cards from Costco are a pretty low cost way to go.

We never seem to have take the time to get much in the way of personal notes in there, though I appreciate the time that other people put into doing this (and making me look bad!).


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Don't do holiday gifts either.

It's been my personal observation that holiday stuff tends to be "woman's work".
For the most part, I wish we could totally drop the gift thing. I'm bad at it most times, and most of the gifts I receive are off-the-mark, and it's such a waste (sometimes from people who can't afford it). Getting together, laughing, reminiscing, eating, drinking, eating, and drinking, and drinking are far more important to me.

If you see holidays as "woman's work", you're doing it wrong. Holidays are the major "kick my butt" motivation from DW. "You ARE going to X,Y,Z done before we have a house full of people here, aren't you DEAR?" She does more than her share, but she loves it, and if I try to 'help' I'll be banished back to painting and polishing.


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My Mom celebrated 2 Christmas holidays, the traditional Dec 25 Christmas and Jan 6, the end of the season as she was accustomed to doing in her Greek Orthodox upbringing.
Awesome! I know people in what used to be called 'mixed marriages' who celebrated Christmas and Hanukkah, but I think I'd prefer adding a Greek version of Christmas, but I'm flexible.

I will check those recipes later - I'm dieting!

Quote:
Some Xmas trivia you all might enjoy....

Xmas: ...Although the early Christians understood that X stood for Christ's name, later Christians who did not understand the Greek language mistook "Xmas" as a sign of disrespect
Thanks for that. I've always been against the "Xmas" thing, it does seem disrespectful to me, but that was beat into me by the nuns. Never allowed it in our house. We even mark the Christmas boxes in the attic "C-MAS", not "Xmas".

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I hate getting those letters which are not personalised and just full of bragging.
You gotta look at it "glass-half-full"! We have soooo much fun making fun of those people! Hours and hours of catty entertainment!

Quote:
Even worse to me are those who send out those Costco cards which are pictures of their kids. I know it is each to their own, but to me if you are going to send a Xmas card make it a Christmas scene with Christmas words involving traditional scenes.
Hey! Are you me? Tell my wife about the kids pics! Don't tell her I sent you! I had to fix the quote for you though.

-ERD50
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Old 11-18-2010, 06:35 PM   #31
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Stopped doing the card thing somewhere around my late 20's. Just too lazy for a tree after Mr. Kitty Kat knocked one down with all the Silvestri ornaments one year...4 times. It kinda killed the thrill of the tree after that.

I do make alot of phone calls around Xmas to friends, tho. That's always fun!
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Old 11-18-2010, 07:35 PM   #32
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Stopped doing the card thing somewhere around my late 20's. Just too lazy for a tree after Mr. Kitty Kat knocked one down with all the Silvestri ornaments one year...4 times. It kinda killed the thrill of the tree after that.

I do make alot of phone calls around Xmas to friends, tho. That's always fun!
I have never put up a tree for Christmas.

When I had a companion I did Solstice with food and drink: goose/duck, a trip to the liquor store, small amounts of expensive foods; would sometimes invite folks we knew who would otherwise be alone.
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Old 11-18-2010, 07:51 PM   #33
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I think I am the only one here who actually "likes" the newsletters in the cards! My father actually writes funny ones - he started this a few years ago, and mom and I just laugh! In catchup conversations with my friends with kids, I don't always ask about them, but the newsletters cover it.

No longer freaked out by the fact DBF has a fake tree (instead of getting a fresh one)...less stressed if I miss sending out Christmas cards. I prefer funny cards. Send out about 30 total. In the middle of holiday stress, many people need a little chuckle. Thinning my holiday decorations drastically this year (but not the nutcracker collection!)...
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Old 11-18-2010, 08:23 PM   #34
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That's a great card. How do you do that? What software do you use?
I use the Windows Movie Maker application that comes free with Windows. It actually works great, although it takes a while to get used to it. Also, it occasionally crashes, so you need to save your work frequently.

You just drag and drop images or videos onto a timeline, choose transitions, etc. It's fun to use.
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Old 11-18-2010, 08:57 PM   #35
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Do you still send Christmas cards the old fashsioned way? With all this technology, is that still necessary?
How about you?
No Christmas or Hanukkah cards. When we get one, though, we'll respond with a "What did you do this year?" letter/e-mail. I try to get them done before Christmas but there's no telling what takes higher priority. During our working/parenting years we'd sometimes get them out as April Fool's missives.

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No longer freaked out by the fact DBF has a fake tree (instead of getting a fresh one)
Christmas trees are horrifically expensive here because they're mostly shipped from the Mainland. We have an artificial tree that we've been using for about 15 years now. We're not going to set it up until our daughter gets home from college, and then only if she does most of the work wants to.

No holiday lights. (Hey, they waste electricity!) Maybe some small decorations scattered around the house.

We're not especially sentimental or historical about Christmas. When I was on sea duty I used to stand inport duty on Christmas Day just for the extra days off at other times. The best deal about inport duty on that day was that nobody wanted to do nothin', so you essentially got a day off on a duty day.
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Old 11-18-2010, 10:13 PM   #36
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Don't knock it until you're tried it.
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Old 11-18-2010, 10:28 PM   #37
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I much prefer annual letters or photos to store-bought, mass mailed holiday cards. I especially don't understand why people would mail me a store-bought card, with absolutely no personal message, and most of the time not even my name on the card.

I guess they are thinking of me, and I should be happy. But it just seems so generic and conveys no information. At least a photo shows me what they or the kids look like nowadays.
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Old 11-19-2010, 08:39 AM   #38
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Um, probably not exactly what Mead is talking about, but my favorite online card site is Free Ecards, Funny Ecards, Greeting Cards, Birthday Ecards, Birthday Cards, Valentine's Day Ecards, Flirting Ecards, Dating Ecards, Friendship Ecards, Wedding Ecards, Anniversary Ecards and more at someecards.com

The SomeEcards site has some very funny stuff, some NSFW stuff, and some downright offensive stuff. But yet still funny.
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Old 11-19-2010, 08:53 AM   #39
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Old 11-19-2010, 09:29 AM   #40
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Count me a traditionalist - I make a card with Shutterfly, rehash what we did (usually where we traveled) re-invite our friends and family to visit us here in Europe and have some snapshots on the front and now in the body of the card. My friends and family have told me they love my cards and look forward to receiving them. I think either they try to live vicariously through us and what we've done and/or hate us for it - that's OK, I love doing it and also getting cards from my friends and family.

I have some friends who do a similar thing, but it is always scuba-based. Another friend of mine like to put some type of confetti in her card.

It's one of our traditions - in fact, my husband and I think about what picture to put on the card.....it also allows me to have a nice annual review of what I did - I forget myself.

Now, for Christmas itself, we don't do much at all - watch football and try to stay away from any ski resorts. Too many people out and about. And we minimize Christmas decorations. I have a few table quilts I've made and a small fiber optic tree I bought in Nurnberg that I put up. We don't even exchange gifts or if we do, they are small. For New Years, we like to watch the college football bowls - I make appetizers and we eat and drink and watch TV. Very relaxing. I also work on my yearly goals list.
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