I’m really getting frustrated and don’t know whether I should be. I send Christmas cards each year to a long list of people—friends, family and professional colleagues—and fewer and fewer people are sending them to me.
A holiday greeting card sent to another person is an expression of good cheer that doesn’t necessarily require a tit-for-tat response.
In fact, there are many reasons why someone may not respond that have little to do with the way they feel about you. Instead, it may have to do with:
- A general decline in snail mail, paper greetings and the increasing use of and preference for electronic communications;
- Other things going on in people’s lives (life events, illness, general busyness over the holidays);
- The cost of sending cards (both the card and postage); and /or
- Ecology (growing interest in saving trees and the fuel entailed with mail delivery, etc.).
Bear in mind, too, that some people like you are natural connectors who keep up with friends while others are more likely to be passive about maintaining relationships.
If you are truly concerned about sending too many greeting cards that get no response, you may want to examine your list, prune it and send fewer cards to people who are more peripheral to your life.
If they are non-responders whom you really want to stay in touch with, you can seek out a more personal way of communicating (perhaps, even at a less busy time of year) either with a note, phone call or get-together. Even writing a more personal note on the card that conveys your feelings might evoke a response.
A previous post on The Friendship Blog expounds on this issue and may be helpful:
Best wishes for the season! Irene