DEAR MISS MANNERS: Over the years, I’ve maintained a special fondness for the act of writing and addressing Christmas cards to about 50 friends (old and new) and family members. I find taking a moment to think of valued relationships, even if only once a year, to be heartwarming and restorative.
However, in recent years, more and more recipients of my cards have let it be known that they no longer engage in the activity. This has raised concerns that, by sending cards to those who don’t do likewise, I may be implying that I expect them to reciprocate. (I don’t!)
Should I take note of people from whom I don’t receive a card and stop sending mine to them?
GENTLE READER: It is not surprising that this way of keeping in touch annually with people whom one might not often see has declined. So many people now make a constant effort to reach everyone they know -- and anyone they don’t know -- that they dismiss this practice as quaint.
Besides, they may maintain that the requirement of writing something out by hand and perhaps even adding a personal comment -- mass-produced cards with printed names do not count -- is an imposition.
So Miss Manners agrees that you should confine your list to those who will appreciate the charm. This group may include people who don’t send Christmas cards themselves but use some other personal way of keeping in occasional touch.
And by that, Miss Manners means something more than sending you their selfies taken on vacation. But you should set your own standard.