Today's Friday Five post over at Philosophy Mom contained this question: 1. About how many family Christmas photo-cards did you receive [in 2016]?
I wryly smiled at this, because the family Christmas card thing is relatively new, right? And we all sort-of hate it, but it's an easy way for others to send a personalized card (personalized to them, anyway) and to subtly keep us informed. The kids are bigger. The waists are wider. Oh, there's someone new (engagement?). What happened to the dog? OMG that poor cat, stuck in that outfit. Etc.
But then I think back to a few short years ago, before this trend. Each card - birthday, Christmas, Arbor Day, whatever - came with what I called family confetti included. What's family confetti? Those small photos, maybe 1"x2", that came along with the larger, for-framing/wallet-size photos we all had taken on School Photo Day. And there were always so many of the smaller ones it was easy to tuck them into cards so that family and friends could see how cute/big/well-dressed your darlings were.
One year, I included photos of Howard, Pravda and Mallory in our outgoing cards. I doubt anyone got the hint.
What's odd to me is that people expected you to save all these photos, but they don't seem to expect you to save the Christmas card. Perhaps that's because with the advent of the digital photo age, and the prevalence of photos on Flickr, Facebook and other cloud sites, they're not rare and precious (I knew that when my father took photos of my niece taking her first right step. then her first left step. then her second right step. and second left step. etc. - we get it. the kid can walk. yay?).
If you're into decluttering, as I am (most of the time) it's great: I toss my cards at Epiphany and move on. Some cards I keep the front of for Friends Who Collage/Scrapbook. I could scan photos if I wanted. Or not. And now, no guilt about getting rid of the confetti, because it's not there. Sometimes, new really, truly is better.