I pick out a set of people I want to communicate with, however impersonally, at least during this once a year flurry of envelopes and stamps. I favor people we've been seeing a lot as well as those who are far away but in our thoughts. I also favor people who send cards themselves. Admittedly there are people we see who aren't in this database. We've just never had occasion to collect a postal address. And there are people I'll probably never see in person again but with whom we faithfully exchange cards.
I rather enjoy sending them and, to be honest, I enjoy receiving the cards from others. Already we've received two from friends and two or three from businesses or non-profits. I even like the long letters surveying a family's year. Often the only decorations in our apartment for the season are a bunch of colorful cardboard designs and glossy pictures of other peoples' kids and dogs.
As the years go by and we communicate less and less by mail I find the ritual feels more and more archaic and strange. Somehow, though, this makes it seem even more important.
A few cards have already arrived.