The Old-Fashioned Way

  • By: Jessica Faust | Date: Feb 16 2011

This blog post over the holiday about our own “agent to the stars” Kim Lionetti made me want to write about my own thoughts on things like Christmas cards.

When it comes to certain things I’m a bit of an old-fashioned gal. I believe in the power of the Christmas card. I love getting them and I love sending them. Okay, I love when they’re sent. Like Jeff, it drives me crazy that we’ve become a world of the assembly-line Christmas card. I get that you’re busy. We’re all busy. But if it’s the one time of year when I hear from you, do you think you could pull out a pen and write a simple “Merry Christmas” on my card?

I remember as a kid being in awe of those families that sent out cards signed by everyone. Old and young all signed their own names. Now it seems I’m in awe of anyone who writes a simple message. I miss the days when people took the time to tell a little about themselves and their year or to just connect on a personal level. Does that mean I’d rather have either a hand-written card or no card at all? No, but I will admit to feeling a little more special when I get a note.

Want to know what other things I do the old-fashioned way? I write and mail thank-you notes, with stamps. I always make a phone call to offer representation, and I send birthday cards, in the mail, with a stamp, to all friends and family.

That’s just me. An old-fashioned girl.


21 responses to “The Old-Fashioned Way”

  1. Avatar Anonymous says:

    And today, BookEnds also announces its return to accepting handwritten queries only.


  2. Sadly, I think if I were to hand-write most of the of the things I type, my "thank yous" would get lost in translation. I have very small handwriting that makes most people wince.

  3. Avatar Gina Black says:

    I made my cards this year and really enjoyed it. Hadn't done that for years and years and years and it rehabilitated Christmas for me.

    I wish I was better at thank-you cards. Maybe I should make those too.

  4. I'm a fan of Christmas letters. I know lots of folks love to hate them, but I love to get them–and I send them as well. I try to write a separate message on the bottom–and I do sign them–but with all the "word processing" I do, my hand seems to have forgotten how to actually write with a pen. And yes, I even have trouble signing my name at book signings–I lock up between the "n" and the "z" in MacKenzie.

  5. Avatar Jennifer says:

    My grandmother would disown me if I didn't send thank you cards 🙂 It was drilled into my head at an early age to send personalized notes and I've never forgotten.

  6. Mailed Thank You cards are a must!

    I do handwrite a message in all my Christmas cards, but it isn't much to cheer about. I only send out ten.

  7. Avatar Whidget says:

    I do the same thing. My husband just shakes his head in confusion but I send out Valentine's cards (100) with notes to every person and a photo of my kids. I send out 200 Christmas cards–with a note to every person. Until this year, I've MADE all the cards–this Christmas I bought them. I've been working, pregnant with baby three, etc and I just couldn't hand make them, but a thank you card and birthday card with a stamp and a message is a must. Where is our society going that no one does this anymore??

  8. My husband gave me some beautiful note cards one year for Christmas – I think I've used one of them so far. Part of the trouble is that I don't know how much they would actually be appreciated by the recipients (I would LOVE to receive something like that but that's me – and apparently, Jessica and the rest of you!) Part of it, too, is that I have awful handwriting. Even when I try hard to be neat, it's barely legible.

  9. Avatar Cynthia Lee says:

    Southern people still do this. We are raised writing thank-you notes.

  10. Sure I enjoy emails from friends and family, but to receive something in the regular mail, well, that's makes me feel special. Someone had to take the time to write it and send it off. I'm all about keeping it old school for just those moments when your spirits lift by something so small as a letter in the mail.

  11. I really get it.

    So then the question needs to be asked: How do you feel about those letters some send that are blanket photocopies because they are too busy to write each and everyone personally? I hate them, I really do, especially when you don't know them r-e-a-l-l-y well and you have to read forever until you get to a tidbit you can realte to. I don't need to know about their Aunt Betty's thrombosis.

  12. Avatar Anonymous says:

    I hate getting those cards that are just signed –no message. It feels like I'm an obligation, rather than a friend, or that there's any sort of thought in it at all.

    When that happens, I take the person off my list.

  13. Avatar Kevin says:

    I love those old-fashioned traditions.

    A songwriter friend of mine once penned a lyric grieving the impersonal nature of our culture:

    "We never hand-write letters,
    We never say good game."

    (the second line refers to how players in professional sports, baseball in particular, no longer line up to say "good game" to their opponents)

  14. My parents didn't send cards, Christmas or otherwise. As an adult I always to Christmas cards, but I do phone calls for the rest. Thank you, birthday. Actually, when I can, I do thank yous in person. I would love to get into the habit of sending thank you cards. I'm thinking of getting an etiquette book so I know what to do when.

  15. Avatar Heather Greye says:

    Thank you!

    No one understands why I look at picture cards and wish that they would have at least signed it. It feels so impersonal that way.

    I send handwritten thank you's as well. My mom and grandma planted that one deep.

  16. Avatar ryan field says:

    I still write thank you notes and Christmas cards. But I started sending e-cards for birthdays unless it's someone older who doesn't have a computer.

  17. Avatar Ann T says:

    Wow, this is exactly how I feel! Well, maybe a bit more in that I do not like the Christmas letters and I especially, don't like the family photos. Not because I don't like see the family but because all they do is slip them in an envelope and that's it. No special note. Not even, as you say, Merry Christams and sign a name. I've decided that for 2011, I'm going to do a family photo of my three Shih Tzus and send that. For the principle, you know. 😀 I miss the days of people who actually sign cards with their names.

  18. Avatar A.M. Kuska says:

    And here I was feeling awesome to have gotten Christmas cards out at all…okay nothing was written in ink, but I dragged my puppy to a photography shop, dressed him up in a reindeer collar and stuffed him in a sleigh for pictures…doesn't that count for something? 😉

  19. Avatar robbin says:

    Short Christmas greetings on a card, yes, but Christmas newsletters — that are three pages long and highlight an entire year, i.e. Our teenager got his/her first pimple – not so much!

  20. Avatar collectonian says:

    I'm an oddball, I guess. Though I am Southern, I don't do Christmas cards or cards for any other holidays. I did used to send them every year to a few folks: mom, dad, best friend.

    However, I realized a few years ago that it was just plain wasteful. Year after year saying basically the same thing over and over, wasting paper and trees. The cards just get tossed in the trash after a few weeks.

    Now, I just do holiday phone calls, which means an actual personal conversation. Thank yous are done in person, on the phone, and yes, even online. 🙂

  21. Avatar AmyJo says:

    I like getting cards as much as I like sending them. Yes, I use cards I buy but I always put a personal, handwritten message inside. When I get a card with something written inside, no matter how short the message, I always enjoy it more so I assume the people getting my cards like seeing my message as well.
    E-mail is faster but it's nice to get something in the mailbox besides bills and flyers!