As we speak I have 10 Christmas cards. I used to have a huge stack by mid-December but then I gave up on sending them. I guess I brought this on myself. I broke this tradition with much guilt and trepidation. It seemed quite sacrilegious to give up on holiday cards. We wrote a couple hundred each year (at great expense I might add) with pictures of our kids. But then it got so tiring with celebrating Hanukkah and Christmas and making tamales. Something had to give. Besides some years they didn’t go out until after Christmas or even New Year. Christmas cards in the mail by New Years. Then I found many of the people who sent me cards started sending them electronically. Singing, dancing Christmas cards online. And then I discovered I was keeping in touch with all those people who I used to send cards to on Facebook or by email. The once a year communication seemed unnecessary when you were in touch all year long. Of the ten cards I have, three are from people my parent’s age and one is from a charity asking for donations. It seems to be a lost art. But I miss those holiday greetings. The letter from Jim O’Donnell documenting every sporting event he went to all year long. The one from Ian Pearson with words that jumped off the page. The card from Orin Friesen which always made me laugh. And of course the pictures of children in various stages of growing up, even if they’re not so cute as teenagers, that lived on our refrigerator all year long. I think our electronic connectedness has caused one of the most civilized practices of all to disappear, the annual greeting in the form of a card, delivered in the mail saying happy holidays, merry Christmas and happy new year.
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