Where Have All the Christmas Cards Gone?
Emojis and digital greetings are no substitute for the charm of writing and posting Christmas cards.
The one thing that I miss dreadfully about Christmas is the good old greeting card.
While the seamstress and confectioner gear up for the onslaught of the festive season and every Christian household works overtime to turn out their best on that special day, one of the most charming aspects of the festival is slowly fading away… Where have all the paper Christmas cards gone?
There are generations who have grown up minus the internet or the cell phone, played catching cook and not candy crush, and enjoyed the ritual of writing and posting Christmas greetings.
I pride myself on belonging to one of those generations. I was but a tween when this part of the Christmas preparations was delegated to me.
I sat down and made a list of everyone the cards would go out to, determined not to forget anyone. First came the immediate family circle — grandparents, uncles, aunts and cousins, then distant relatives and friends. The list once made — with constant additions and subtractions — was followed by trips to stores that stocked Christmas cards. I read and reread the words on the inside and outside of the card and strove to pick a good mix of fun and spirituality, determined to send the right card to the right person.
Then I returned home, assembled everything together to send out the greetings, carefully wrote out the cards in my best schoolgirl handwriting, slipped them into their envelopes, glued or licked the required stamps, and handed them over to an elder to be dropped into the post box. That was one job struck off the Christmas ‘to do’ list.
In the meanwhile, as the festival drew nearer, the trips to the letterbox grew more frequent. I snatched a moment or two every day to peer into the letterbox to find out if Mr. Postman had made my day. Sometimes he did, sometimes not.
On good days, I collected the cards, ran home, opened each one and exclaimed in delight as I read the sender’s name. The cards were kept carefully to be strung up along with the decorations. Some precious old ones also found a place alongside the new.
Today, with email e-greetings the good-old Christmas card has become a quaint old-world custom.
But emojis and digital greetings are no substitute for the charm of writing and posting Christmas cards. They are the closest one can get to a hug from a distant loved one on this special day.