Christmas card

From Academic Kids

A Christmas card is a greeting card that is decorated in a manner that celebrates Christmas. Typical content ranges from truly Christian symbols such as Nativity scenes and the Star of Bethlehem to purely secular references, sometimes humorous, to seasonal weather or common Christmastime activities like shopping and partying. Christmas cards are exchanged during the Christmas season (around December 25) by many people (including non-Christians) in Western culture and in Japan. Some Christian groups (such as Jehovah's Witnesses), however, disdain the celebration of holidays without explicit Biblical authorization, and so neither celebrate Christmas nor exchange Christmas cards.

A common practice is to send cards all of the same design (sometimes a group of related designs), enclosed in envelopes made of colored paper. Some people have family photos, often with everybody wearing holiday outfits, made into cards. Many people send cards to both close friends and distant acquaintances, potentially making the sending of cards a multi-hour chore in addressing scores or even hundreds of envelopes. The greeting in the card is usually personalized but brief.

Some people take the annual mass mailing of cards as an opportunity to update everybody with the year's events, and include the so-called "Christmas letter" reporting on the family's doings, sometimes running to multiple printed pages. While a practical notion, Christmas letters meet with a mixed reception; recipients may take it as boring minutiae, bragging, or a combination of the two. Since the letter will be received by both close and distant relatives, there is also the potential for the family members to object to how they are presented to others; an entire episode of Everybody Loves Raymond was built around conflict over the content of just such a letter.

Many businesses, particularly smaller local businesses, also send Christmas cards to the people on their customer lists, as a way to develop general goodwill and to retain awareness. These cards are almost always tasteful, and do not attempt to sell a product, limiting themselves to mentioning the name of the business.

Unique variants on the concept

In 2004, the German post office gave away 20 million of free scented stickers, to make Christmas cards smell of a fir Christmas tree, cinnamon, gingerbread, a honey-wax candle, a baked apple and an orange.

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