THE BLOG
12/21/2010 02:36 pm ET Updated Nov 17, 2011

On Christmas Cards and Season's Greetings

I'm thinking of tweeting my holiday cheer in 2011 on Twitter: Wishing you a Merry Christmas or Have a Happy Holiday Season!

Done under a minute. Definitely in less than 140 characters.

After all, I'm a married mom and freelance writer. Busy doesn't even begin to describe my days and nights. When I'm not following up with editors on pitches and assignments, I'm navigating the obstacle course between being Betty Crocker and Cruella De Vil--thankfully, got rid of the white streak--to my husband and naughty-and-nice son, oh, and I almost forgot, struggling to write a memoir on the side.

Twitter here I come.

But hang on. In the era of electronic mass e-mailed Christmas cards and posted on Facebook Season's Greetings (my stream started mid-December, with early holiday posts smacking of the same urgency as to which celebrity was spotted at Starbucks), I realize that I actually take a certain, albeit sadistic, pride in laboriously handwriting some 50 or so holiday cards each year.

I attend to this cumbersome yet dedicated task while trimming a tree, cooking up a storm, attending school recitals, shopping for gifts, lugging home sacks of coal. Really, I even sent an annual Christmas card for years to our old cleaning lady in England, until I was informed she had died.

The real reason I do this is more complicated. After all, it's not especially green or useful. If anything, it's carbon-blazing and time-consuming. But as a first generation immigrant (my heritage is Iranian and I was born in London), who has lived all over the place, I undergo this seasonal ritual to let faraway friends or dispersed family know that I haven't forgotten them, that they remain dear to me, and that I can make this minor effort to do something more than update my status or hit send.

But even I have certain card-inal rules.

1. I don't send cards to family I'm going to see over the holidays.

2. I buy pretty but inexpensive cards (Target has a line I like).

3. I keep greetings simple and faith-appropriate.

4. If I'm writing to anyone with kids, I put in the children's names in birth order if I recall them.

5. I never include form newsletters (nothing I do is that interesting and I find them impersonal).

6. I do try to add a personal line or two.

7. I never send premade cards with a picture of my kid (no one thinks your kid is as cute as you do; I may pop in a snapshot once in a while).

8. The folks I miss some years, I do my best to cover them the next.

9. I don't worry about my appalling handwriting; I just get the job done.

10. I keep extra cards handy to reciprocate to those who send me one, unless it's from Brooks Brothers or the Hyundai dealership!

So I guess when I started this blog, I jumped the mouse. I'll reserve the right to write my cards in 2011 the old-fashioned way, though I might tweet about it.

Happy Holidays!