Christmas Card Pet Peeve

Christmas cards

Photo copyright (2015) (Kelly Guest). Used by permission. All rights reserved.


It seems to me that Christmas cards are under assault. Actually, traditional, religious Christmas cards have been under assault for a long time. Baby Jesus has had to compete with cute, little puppies in Santa hats, the three wise men on camels with Santa and his reindeer, and O little town of Bethlehem with wooded snow scenes. In the last couple of years, though, it has gotten worse. Now the Holy Family seems to be beaten out by our own families.

Ok. So I am going to go there. At the risk of only receiving half the Christmas cards next year as I did this year, I am going to share my Christmas card pet peeve.

It isn’t a pet peeve really. Mostly an observation. A wondering out loud.

You see, over half the cards I received this Christmas were picture cards. You know, the ones you can have made at Walmart or Snapfish or the like. Please don’t get me wrong. I love getting pictures of families dear to me, especially of those whom I don’t get to see very much. As I mentioned in a previous post, I take all the pictures I receive and, after Christmas, make a collage of them on my large bedroom mirror. That way, when I say my morning prayers, I can see those special to me and remember to pray for them. So please, my wonderful friends and family members, do not stop sending me your Christmas greetings. I do cherish your photos.

I wonder, though, if the popularity of these cards is not contributing to the secularization of Christmas?

After all, as adorable as our babies are, Christmas is about one Baby – the Babe of Bethlehem. As cute as our kids are, Christmas time is about praising God for sending us His Kid. As wonderful as our families are, this is a time of year when we are to be in wonder of the Holy Family.

Shouldn’t our Christmas cards, likewise, reflect our awe and wonder of these great mysteries? The Incarnation, the Virgin Birth, divinity uniting with humanity, God’s great love for us, the Good News of our salvation is the message we as Christians are to share at Christmas. Singing carols, giving gifts, sharing with those less fortunate, setting up manger scenes, and, yes, sending cards are all ways we help spread the Gospel.

I enjoy opening Christmas mail that has a picture of a beautiful family in it, maybe even with a little letter catching me up with all that ways God has blessed them throughout the year. I love it when those treasures are enveloped in a beautiful card which lifts my mind to the greatest blessing of all – Jesus. I don’t know, maybe I am becoming an old fuddy-duddy, but if Jesus is the reason for the season, shouldn’t He be the reason for the cards, too? What do you think?

Copyright 2016 Kelly Guest.


About Author

God has given Kelly lots of wonderful opportunities to follow Him. She was a Dominican Sister of St. Cecilia in Nashville, an education coordinator for a Catholic Charities' program for pregnant teens, a middle school teacher, a director of religious education and is now a youth minister. Her most challenging and rewarding calling, though, is wife and mother of ten children. What she has learned, she blogs at


  1. I don’t feel they have contributed to the secularization of the Christmas cards. Let’s face it. Many of the Christmas cards without pictures we receive already have done that ~ snowman, artistic Christmas trees that look more like contemporary art, Santa . . . Truthfully, it is often very hard to find religious Christmas cards in the local store. For us, sending a picture card out (with a religious caption) is a less expensive way to share a “school” picture of our children with family, near and far. It has become an economical issue with us being from a large family.

    • I know what you mean about finding religious cards. Believe it or not, if you are willing to buy them the day after Halloween, our Walmart has a good collection. Plus, the Knight of Columbus always sell some at our church. It is a blessing. By the way, I love large family pictures. It is always fun to see if we can name everyone from year to year. God’s blessing to you and your family.

  2. I often feel the same way; delighted to see family and friends, but wonder if we are missing the point.
    If Christian families are no longer buying religious cards, who will; if we do not spend the message of God’s great gift to the world, who will. I love that you use the picture cards as a prayer reminder, but I also think our Christmas cards need to remind a tired world of the great gift of our Savior.

    • Kathy, great point about buying religious cards. If we Christians aren’t buying them, then Hallmark and the like will stop producing them. That would be tragic, I think,

  3. Suzi, that’s what we do. I don’t think it costs any more than the picture cards. I use a lot of the cards I receive from various religious order in the mail. Then I look at sending them money not as buying Christmas cards so much as supporting the missions, one of the laws of the Church.

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