The French have the very sensible habit of sending their holiday cards after New Year's, when you actually have time to write them. More and more of my friends have picked up this habit, possibly from me! The only ones I've sent cards to so far are to les britanniques, who still observe the tyranny of having to get everything posted to arrive before the 24th.
I was writing some to my favorite Brits in the doctor's office, waiting for someone, when the doctor, an old friend of mine (he looked very much like Saddam Hussein till he shaved off his mustache about the time the U.S. invaded Iraq), remarked, "Des cartes de voeux? Cela fait des années maintenant que je n'en reçois presque plus." (Greeting cards? I've scarcely received any for years now.)
When I thought about it, I realized that here it is already December 13th, Saint Lucy's day-- which is a big holiday in Sweden, and I hope Francis writes about it-- and I've received only two Christmas cards. One not even signed personally, from an old friend who is now a bigwig in Washington (I know you're busy; all the same, that's tacky!); the other by a friend who is a professional graphic artist who designs his own cards.
Christmas cards are dying out. I guess everyone is too busy now. Not sending cards makes sense when people can keep in touch so readily with phones and email, and I know the stress is something working mothers don't need. But it makes me sort of sad that what is dying out has to be the pleasant custom that cheers people up, rather than the overwork that is killing it.