Saturday, December 10, 2011

Your Card is in the Mail....

The snow is blowing, the winds are gusty and the December 1st deadline will have come and gone by the time you read this....What is the December 1 deadline?  It is this factitious deadline I give myself to indulge in the fine, but dying art of Christmas card writing.   Remember those?  Beautiful shiny glittery cards full of generalized sentiment for a year of blessings being sent to you and your loved ones.   We still receive those greetings from our Great Aunt, a Grandmother and maybe the neighbour across the way.   But in recent years the art of the hand written card has been lost.  Well flying reindeers!!  Dammit!  I plan to engage in the time honoured tradition once again.  

Years ago, card-giving popularity actually rose, with the introduction of boxed cards filled with humour or whimsy, you know the ones of Santa in all sort of “predicaments’.  I admit I related more with those cards, than any other....I am not a traditional sentimental softy, nor am I the cute kitten dressed in a Santa hat card giver either.  These days, however it seems finding the right boxed card set that makes me giggle, but is not to offensive for the masses and hasn’t been done to death is an impossibility.  As I scouring every nook and cranny in this city, I have to ask... where have all the cards gone??!

Ok, I will admit in recent years, I too have overindulged during the holiday season and I am not just referring to the chocolates, appetizers and ‘adult beverages’, but to the convenience of the Internet.  Ah yes, card giving has been replaced with E-cards, status updates and inbox messages.  Oh Joyous Noel!   There’s an app for everything!!  I admit the novelty of rummaging through all those E Cards for the one that best suits that friend , and still reflects ME is fun, albeit time consuming.   If you’re as much as a perfectionist as I, scanning and dissecting every choice and option can be overwhelming!  And a Santa’s Elves would have it, just as you decide on a card, a shiny red blinking notification comes up on your screen.... you have a new message!  After quickly peeking at the notification of course, you realize that old co-worker who never comments on your statuses has sent you a greeting....from a different E card company.  

And so it begins...first of all, who do I send a card too?  If I sent one to her, then I really should sent one to our old boss, after all she can ‘see’ that we exchanged cards.   Now that I looked at the card, I can’t help myself, it came from a different E card application, and maybe, just maybe, they have the perfect card!!  (Come on; don’t even try to convince me you wouldn’t check out that other site to see if their cards are better!!)   By the time the milk and cookies are consumed and the stocking are hung, we convince ourselves that E cards are easy and hey it was free and, I could still offer a personal message. What’s not to love??   

What have we become??   Gone are the days of receiving a card with a picture of your friends’ children whom you have never met.   A neatly typed up letter filled with ‘This is what we did this year’ stories and anecdotes.   Yes, I know what you’re thinking....maybe that’s not such a bad thing!    But somewhere along the way, it saddens me, that we have lost the personal touch of a hand held card.  Tell me I am wrong, but don’t you miss reading a personal message?  Don’t you miss the visual appeal of a misspelled words or the signature from a child scribbled with crayon inside.  Don’t you miss the surprise of looking in your mailbox and finding a pretty red or gold envelope?!  Don’t you miss scanning the address and look at the handwriting to determine the identity of the sender?  Don’t you miss that simple feeling of happiness that comes when you open up a card from a dear friend?  I know, I do.

I miss sending cards, writing a personal message, I long to imagine the smile on the receivers face when they realize the card they are holding comes from me!   It doesn’t have to be too elaborate, long-winded or intimate.  A simple I miss your face kind of silly sentiment is all that is needed.  Your family and friends get you, they know don’t need to try so hard, but the effort of sending a card is kilometres more personal than a status update....and it’s one that I challenge YOU to take on this year. .....are you ready for the challenge?? 

PS Your card is in the mail! 

Molly McIntyre 

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