^ That is a very nice gesture mrd.
This year I probably will not send many Christmas cards. It's not as much about crossing people off our list...well, yes it is. But not because of who sends us a card. My list isn't that long anyway, and I always just sent to who I wanted to send to. If it were up towards 100 cards, I'd sure whittle it down based upon who seemed to really not care about getting one.
Some years I'd buy blank cards at an art store and draw Christmas or holiday scenes, for close family members (only) as I never seemed to start early. And so I'd have limited time to finish them in. But most years I'd buy various boxed cards, a few single cards, and either decorate the envelope with stickers or draw something like a snowflake, sled, Santa, snowman etc., in gold or silver metallic pen on the envelope. Depending upon how much time I had that year to do it.
This year our list will be really small. Family fallings-out and what-not. Hubby already did not want to send ANY cards last year. What we sent instead was a family genealogy-related project I'd worked months on. No one said a word to me. If someone had looked up one of my long lost ancestors I'd wondered about and sent their birth cert. from the old country etc., I'd have at least said something. (No that still isn't the reason they're not on our list this yr. It's a lot of things like that and much bigger. Eventually you just say "uncle".)
This year I will send to a few people we are in contact with, some close family and that's that. I don't mind, as there is a wonderful stationery store near us, and this way I can buy each a prettier card than if I sent twice as many out. Many cards they sell are hand crafted with various materials to decorate them. Much better than I could make! Maybe I will make an angel post card to stick into each envelope, I did that one year. But I really never know if those are liked/wanted, or not (Most people never say - anyone notice that? An aunt never said but when I visited her later, said "Why didn't you make me an angel card this year?" ). So again it comes to time and whim pretty much. Lol.
I always try to write at least a line or two in the card - but I don't mind if people just sign their names. A lot of people I know say they can never think what to say, have too many cards to write out, and so forth. Like others, I love the family photos as well. The 'newsletters' - depends on the tone. If it's to exaggerate and so on, I don't enjoy it so much. My half-brother is a minister though and sends out news about their congregation and different charity things done that year etc. It's nice to read about.