As you can tell, I’m really into Christmas. Especially traditional Christmases, like when I was a kid. I like my trees green, my presents prettily wrapped, and my eggnog spiked. You’ve got to have shortbread (whipped and rolled), gingerbread, and some fruitcake that nobody eats.
And you’ve got to have Christmas cards.
I think that Christmas cards are falling out of favour. The cards themselves aren’t that expensive. The problem is that the stamp costs more than the card. Who actually uses the post office anymore for anything besides bills? Besides traditionalists like me.
The internet is a whole different ballgame. If you have an email address, you can send an e-card. They can be animated or have music or be a slide show. It’s very convenient. But it’s not something tangible. You can’t leave an email on the table to look at whenever you are taking off your coat. You can’t show them to your family when they come over and want to hear the news about your old friends.
It’s probably no surprise to learn that I am old school. I wrote out about four dozen Christmas cards this weekend. And although I saved all my cards from last year, I’ve stopped making “the list”. You know “the list”. On one side of the page you record all the people you sent cards to. On the other half, you write down the names of everybody who sent you a card. And then next year, if a name doesn’t appear on both sides of the page – OFF WITH THEIR HEADS! Because Christmas is all about payback and keeping track and getting equal to what you give. Right?
I tried that for a few years and decided that I wasn’t going to do it anymore. If you sent me a card, I’ll try to send one back because I liked hearing from you. But if you didn’t, I may send you one anyway. I don’t expect a response. You don’t owe me. I just wanted to let you know that I was thinking of you. Nothing more, nothing less than the fact that it is the holidays and I wanted you to know I missed you and wanted to wish you a merry Christmas.
Some traditions have to make way for innovations. Carols are sung by new singers (we won’t get into that – it’s a sore subject for me) and lights on the tree have moved from candles to LEDs. There are even some fruitcake out there that are more than edible, and border on quite tasty! But some things shouldn’t change. So when you go to get the mail, you should still be able to find something fun in the mailbox at this time of year. You’ll get enough bills in January.