Why I’m Not Sending Holiday Cards This Year

In my quest to make more space in 2015, we’ve done a lot of purging in our house this year. We’re learning the art of living with less. Or at least only hanging onto and keeping the items we most treasure.

Because making space for only our most treasured gems is what ultimately leads to living a more connected and fulfilled life.

IMG_6090This is one of the key lessons we explore over and over and over again in my 9 month Embrace Experience because purging our photos involves also exploring the bigger picture of what else needs to be edited and deleted in our lives. (hint: it’s often more than we think…)

It was in one of my many purge sessions this past year that I came across a stack of hundreds upon hundreds of cards. Birthday cards, Shower cards, Thank you cards, holiday cards, photo cards…

Most of the cards had sat untouched in a drawer for 3+ years.

And when I asked the infamous ‘Kon Mari’ question if they still sparked joy I had to answer no. (if you haven’t read her book you totally should — get it HERE) Only about 25-30 of our treasured cards made the cut. And away the rest went into the trashcan.

It was in that moment that I subconsciously made the decision NOT to send our holiday cards this year.  I could envision the outcome where our 100 cards ended up in the trash which felt so wasteful.

For a little while I was worried about what everyone else would think about this decision (GASP – the photography teacher didn’t send out photo cards this year!) But, doing things just because society, or social media, or your neighbors say you should would not practicing what I preach.

So I decided this year would be a year for a break.

(Because I’m ALL about honoring what YOU need!)

Here are some of the many reasons I decided sending out cards was not for our family this year.

1) Cost

I didn’t want to spend the $100+ on a photo session, cards, and postage when I knew the cards would likely end up in a trashcan or recycling. Instead I’m going to take that money and donate it to a cause my family feels drawn to support instead.

2) Time

This season I wanted to focus on truly taking a break and a breather. I didn’t want to have to worry about stuffing envelopes, collecting addresses, and labeling envelopes. This year I wanted to find space to soak in my own creative interests, connect with my family more, and allow for moments of pause a reflection.

3) Intention

I very intentionally decided this year would be about printing more ALBUMS for our family. At the beginning of 2015 I barely had any photo books. Before continuing to print for the benefit of others I was determined to print more for my myself and the people I care about the most. Cards don’t accomplish that goal, so they’ll wait for now.

4) Novelty

In this digital age, our family updates are frequently on social media. Current photos, and happenings in our lives are already available to the people who desire them. Any card I’d send wouldn’t offer anything new to anyone who is already a Facebook friend, neighbor, or family member.

5) Authenticity

My family and friends know I still love them whether I send a card in the mail or not. I’d rather take time to write a few heartfelt hand written letters to the most important people in our lives (or the ones not on social media who aren’t getting our barrage of Facebook updates) than trying to keep up with addressing a large number of pre-made cards that hold no personal value.

Am I done with sending holiday cards forever?


But, I did definitely desire a break this year.

Don’t be me wrong. I still absolutely adore decorating our home with the cards that have been pouring in from friends, neighbors, past students, and clients of mine.

And I’m sure given a year of rest, I’ll be ready to hop on the bandwagon again next year. But for now I’m going to continue honoring my desire for Space in this one and embrace a zero guilt attitude about our decision to keep the holidays to ourselves this year.

Looking to print more photos for yourself this year? The Embrace Experience might be for you. It’s 9 months of you, me, and a community of others ready to finally tackle the task of organizing, purging, and printing photos for good. Get all the details or register for the upcoming session HERE.