Cherishing One & Only Christmas Card received this Year from my Brother in US
- “For a Brother, who means so much…But every once in a while (like at the Holidays) it’s nice for a Brother to hear that he’s loved and thought of and valued for who he is ..And You Really Are. Wishing You the Merry Christmas You Deserve!”- a Christmas message on the ONE & ONLY CHRISTMAS CARD I received this year from my Brother Rudy and his wife Alice, Chicago Suburbs-USA.
Mangaluru: Like plum cake and Rice ladoo or, the Christmas card is a holiday tradition that just won’t quit- at least for a few people. Granted, the high-flying days of old are gone when you could use cards as an excuse to bore literally everyone you knew with a Xeroxed “family” letter tucked inside — that’s what Facebook is for now, kids — but the bubble hasn’t burst. Not by a long shot. Quite a few people still have kept the hundreds of years old tradition of sending Christmas cards during this holiday season.
Christmas used to be the largest card-sending holiday of the year, but not anymore. Greeting cards manufacturers/dealers have relative stability with minor year-over-year fluctuations in regards to card-sending during Christmas season. On the one hand, that fairly ginormous number’s down from the even more ginormous 2 billion Christmas cards sent annually in the early 2000s. But back then, you couldn’t just text “Mry Xms!” to everyone you’d ever met and be done with it:. In a survey, 63 percent of people have planned on sending Christmas or holiday cards. Those age 65 and over (73 percent) were most likely to do so, but more than half of millions surveyed (59 percent) also said they planned on sending cards.
Interestingly, the exact reverse was true for Christmas trees. At 82 percent, respondents age 18-29 were most likely to say they intended to put up a tree, while the 65-plus group was least likely at 73 percent. Most likely because the prospect of addressing envelopes and licking stamps is less daunting than chopping down a tree and sprinkling it with tinsel.
Even though greetings during Christmas at present is through digital gadgets, like Facebook, WhatsApp, Internet etc- but that doesn’t mean social media and mobile communication are about to render them obsolete. Experts say there are still certain events for which only a printed card will do — death, a wedding anniversary (especially your own), Christmas for close friends and relatives — and that sending a card might actually feel even more meaningful now that it’s so easy not to. Meanwhile, that long-ago high school classmate whose Facebook wall you quickly post “Happy Birthday!” on once a year wasn’t ever likely to get a printed holiday card from you anyway.
Consumers turning to digital greetings as a complement to paper greeting cards, not a replacement, since many consumers will celebrate an occasion by sending both a paper and digital greeting- and for that matter, is my elder brother Rudy D’souza, living in Chicago suburbs, USA- who still sends me a Christmas card being thousands of miles away for decades, and also since I moved back from the US five years ago. And I always cherish receiving the Christmas card by post from my brother and his family, rather than an SMS or Whatsapp Christmas greeting sent by many, which is totally non-traditional. And I have hung this card right in front on my Christmas tree. Until 2016, I used to also receive a Christmas card from my cousin Sr Teresa of Avila AC, who is at St Agnes Convent, Bendore-Mangaluru- but due to her old-age, eye-sight and health condition, she has stopped sending me Christmas card. But I still love and care for her, since she always has me in her daily prayers!
While our holiday to-do lists seem to grow ever longer, there’s one task that’s dropped off entirely – sending Christmas cards. You don’t need a degree in statistics to know that Christmas cards are on the decline. Fewer people do it, and those who do, send fewer cards than they used to. A few generations ago, the annual Christmas card exchange was a cherished way to stay in touch with far-flung family members and friends. In the days when long-distance phone calls were expensive, spending the loose change on the stamp to say hello was a bargain.
Later came the dreaded family Christmas letter and those goofy photo cards showing the whole family in reindeer antlers and Santa shorts. Today’s busy lifestyles leave less time for maintaining long Christmas card lists. Is it worth spending time and money sending Christmas card to say “Merry Christmas” to someone who’s across town? Especially when everyone else just posts a “Happy Holidays” message on Facebook, or sends an e-card, and calls the job done. Some families still send traditional cards but wait to receive a card before reciprocating, which takes some of the joy out of the exchange.
One hard-core environmentalist, a lecturer from a Catholic institute said to me-” Times charge and folks like me have to adapt. We have to admit that greeting cards may be good for the card-making industry, but they are bad for the environment. Manufacturing cards and then throwing them out probably makes little sense. When wishing friends and loved ones a Merry Christmas, it’s no longer necessary to murder a tree first”. I thought of recommending this lecturer’s name to Tree Transplant Man, Jeeth Milan Roche, to take this lecturer as a volunteer on his Green Movement.
“When I became of age, sending Christmas cards became a convenient way to greet and play catch-up with college friends and family who were elsewhere. Each year as I peruse the card list, there is usually a name or two that I must cross off, as I sigh because they are no longer here. In reality, I get only about 4-5 cards a year–a sad state of affairs, since I send out close to 50. Every December, I start sifting through my mail, opening envelopes in the hope of seeing cute pictures of my friends and their children. Sandra and Susan? Shanthi and Kiran? Regardless, I almost always come away from the mailbox disappointed.” said Sherine, an NRI come down for good after 25 years in Gulf.
Smitha, an IT employee says “I have a confession: I can’t remember the last time I sent a Christmas card. I have excellent intentions – every year I buy a bunch of cards from Jerosa company! I never have the time to write them out, let alone post them. But of course I have time – if I can watch Bollywood or Cricket news whilst checking my Twitter, I can write out a few Christmas cards.”
So in conclusion, while I thank my brother and his family for thinking of me and sending their wishes during Christmas on a Christmas card, I just wonder how many of you still receive Christmas cards from your loved ones who are near or far? How do you feel about Christmas cards? Do you go all out by writing personalized messages and including photos of the kids? Or have you stopped sending cards entirely? Post in your comments in the blog column below or send in your message to: firstname.lastname@example.org- and we’ll publish them if they bring awareness of SENDING CHRISTMAS CARDS!