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Thursday, 22 December 2016
Logically, I thought, there are so many ways of communicating, do we still need to exchange all those Christmas cards? I mean do we? Really? With social media and above all emails, surely we can keep in touch with people all year round if we want to. Even speak to them, see them, on the phone? Many of our brilliant networking younger generation never did latch on to this tradition. The cost of postage could be put to better use – this was my overall rationale. Someone else added to this the environmental cost …
So last year I enclosed a note to say that next time around we would give something to charity instead of doing cards; so nobody would think we’d both died. I think about three people remembered this.
On the upside, where I've emailed friends and relations with our year’s news I’ve had really good ones back, some with surprising news I wouldn’t have known otherwise. We’ve received about the same number of cards as usual, with letters from people who normally enclose them.
Those people we never see as the decades go by – I really thought if we needed or wanted to meet up then by now we would have done so. Conversely, folks we see daily, weekly or even monthly – then we know they’re there, we’ve swapped news and we’re likely to see them again soon. Do they need a card?
I understand why cards mean a lot. Whether they’re colourful and jolly, religious, leave you misty-eyed, or just plain nostalgic – we’ve always had them and we display them and feel good that these are ‘our people’, our tribe, our inner and outer circle, those who may one day come to our funeral. And it is good to be reminded and be mindful of old friends we don’t see very often (but, says my sad, cold, logical, inner voice – you can do that with an email … …) I can remember my parents saying that they’d had over 100 cards – it was a point of pride.
Well, it seems that cards are still popular so next year I may have to retract. I’ve had comments such as, ‘I had an email from someone and then I had to spend time sending them one!’ Mind you, if you can’t spare a few minutes to send someone your news in an email, are they truly a valued friend or relative? Another person expressed the view that if we all did this it would put designers and makers of cards out of business. I can’t see that as a valid reason to perpetuate a tradition … Oh, well. Am I being a bit ‘bah! humbug’?
I have definitely taken all this on board – consulted my spread sheet that gives me an instant breakdown of how many emails/cards I have received/sent from/to whom, and I have to cave in.
Next year I will almost probably go back to Christmas cards – until such time as others want to play!
A warm and Merry Christmas everyone!! and thank you for your card, if you sent one!
Related blog post December 2012: