I was kind of shocked when I went outside to get the morning mail today. Mixed in with the coupons that I wish I could stop receiving and the bills I wish I could stop paying, a solitary greeting card with my handwritten address on the envelope stood out like a sore thumb.
“It’s been a while since I’ve seen one of those,” I said to myself.
Technology has all but eliminated the need to send greeting cards. Birthday wishes are expressed on people’s Facebook walls, Christmas cards are sent via e-cards direct to people’s in-boxes and words of sympathy are written in electronic guest books linked to obituaries online.
But here in my hands was a relic.
Someone cared enough to send the very best by going down to the corner drugstore to select a paper card with just the right sentiment and signed it with their own hand, sealed it with their own tongue and walked it down to the mailbox.
Seems like a lot of work by today’s standards.
I used to send out Christmas cards up until a few years ago. It was a labor intensive job, signing all those cards, addressing all those envelopes and licking all those stamps only to have the recipient open it up, look at it, and either keep it or throw it away.
The thought passed through my mind a few days ago whether to send old fashioned Christmas cards this year or not. It’s a nice gesture and a good way to keep in touch with friends you may not have had contact with for some time. I could run down to the Hallmark store, pick out a few boxes of their finest greeting cards, come home and make a mug of hot chocolate, go through my address book and start writing.
Times have changed, people have changed and the cost of postage has increased. Today we have to be careful about wishing people a “Merry Christmas.” That sentiment has been replaced with “Happy Holidays” and “Season’s Greetings” because we must be careful not to offend anyone who doesn’t celebrate Christmas.
To me there are only two greetings that are acceptable this time of year, Merry Christmas and Happy Hanukkah. Happy Holidays and Season’s Greetings are used by companies and organizations who have cowered down to the so-called standards of political correctness which often times do more harm than good.
Sophie, thanks for the Christmas card and for reviving a tradition as old as Kris Kringle himself. Even if it did cost you 44 cents to mail.