How many people sent Christmas greetings by email this Christmas? Or posted one greeting to all their Facebook friends?
I admit to the former – just for my relatives overseas. I had sent a calendar gift to America, and the postage cost more than the calendar! And that was after I had folded it in half to send as a “Large Letter” instead of a “Small Parcel”! All of the other far flung relatives had at some time been in contact by e-mail so it seemed a reasonable thing to email my greeting. It saved me a small fortune in air mail stamps, and they received a newsy family update email, a funny seasonal animated .gif and a cheery wish of Glad Tidings.
I got three emails returned by the postmaster! Ah well! You can’t win em all. I got some cheery email greetings back from the others and once more, we vow to keep in touch more regularly. Well you can’t get much more regular than Christmas, I reckon.
The remainder of our friends and relatives were sent postal greetings as in days of yore, and last year, and the year before that. It’s a weird thing, this ritual. It’s probably one of the first seasonal duties, apart from making the Christmas Cake in October (which I don’t do any more). “Have you done your cards yet? No? Me neither, but I’ve had three in the post already and its still only November”. Our Christmas card list hasn’t changed except for a few changes of addresses, additional addresses for the separated/ divorced couples, and the adding of youngsters who have fled our siblings’ family nests. (they respond on Facebook/messenger, obviously)
The other point, or THE point I am making here, is that greeting cards form the basis of the yuletide decorations, don’t they? The many commercially available strings, pegs, clips and templates must be a testiment to the tradition of hanging up yer cards. I stick mine to the doors using chewing gum substitute (blue, tacky stuff – can’t think what it’s called at the moment) in a pattern, dependent on size, colour and orientation. This year I only had enough cards to cover one side of each of the three doors! Enough to decorate, but not enough on both sides to raise the door of its hinges when it was slammed too hard, which causes some cards to fall off and be stuck back in the wrong place by others who don’t understand my OCD system Arrrgh!
So looking at the naked backsides of my doors this year, I asked myself two things. What will we do to deck the hall when the tradition of sending cards has completely ended? And how much will I save on postage?
…to be continued.