The older I get, the more old-fashioned I become. I have ideas about life that don’t necessarily gibe with what life in the 21st century is all about. It’s not as if I imagine that life in the 20th century was tons better, or that there was more progress, or heaven forbid life was better before women’s’ and civil rights movements. It’s more that I’ve come to appreciate and to use manners.
As such, I really dislike electronic Christmas cards. I know, I know. They’re “green”. There’s nothing to throw out afterwards — no guilt in “what do I do with this now”. Now chucking something personal into the recycle bin. Yet, there’s something most special about getting something personal in the mailbox. Even now, the sight of something handwritten excites me. I can even endure any misspellings because someone made the attempt to do something “a little bit more.”
You see, I get that sending cards takes more time, more effort, more money, and more resources. Cards have (according to The Consumerist via someone else) something like a 200% mark-up. I get that it can end up, with postage, costing at least $1 per card to send. If you’re into fancy, perhaps more.
I know that it takes time to address the envelopes at a busy time of year. I understand that just signing the card seems like it’s not enough. Special messages, thinking about them, and writing them, takes extra time. I get that.
Yet, it is easily one of the best gifts ever. I love the little notes from my aunts and uncles catching me up on life. It’s a reminder that my world extends beyond the Bay Area. I like seeing the pictures of kids growing up too fast. I enjoy (even though I’ve read in Dear Abby that others don’t), the newsletters filled with that the family has accomplished in a year’s time. I often miss things or forget things. It’s nice to be reminded that people are doing interesting and great things.
Every year my door is a little less covered. One day it will be bare, save for a few people just like me. The hold-outs.
I’m not looking forward to the day that Christmas cards die; although, I can say with certainty that they are on the endangered species list.