Nov. 21, 2021: Traditional Cards and Letters
At the grocery store this week I asked the cashier if they had gotten in their Christmas Stamps yet. When she said that they had, I excitedly asked for five books of the Christmas Stamps.
“That’s a lot of stamps,” she responded. I agreed, but said that since it was only once a year, I was one of those stubborn people holding on to the tradition of sending out Holiday cards and letters the old-fashioned way. No email greetings from me. No messages sent via text.
I figure once a year, I can take the time to write out greetings to my friends and family near and far. Once a year, I can stop and share my wishes and hopes with them. Once a year, they will find a delivery in their mailbox that they can open and hold- a tangible representation of our connection.
As I chatted with the cashier about Christmas cards, the young lady bagging my groceries shared that she had recently lost her great-grandmother. When she and her mother were clearing out her great-grandmother’s apartment, they found a box filled with some of the cards that she had gotten over the last few years. Holiday cards, Get Well cards, Thinking of You cards. She said she found many of the cards she had sent her great-grandmother in that box. She said it filled her heart to know that the cards she had sent to her great grandmother had meant so much that she did not want to throw them out.
Yes, her great grandmother was most likely of the generation who grew up without the internet and without the reliance on instant communication. Daily mail delivery then was a powerful line of communication and connection with others. Today, that power is diluted by technology tools that allow for instant connections, but those tools are a recent step. It was honestly not that long ago when the tools we have today seemed like the stuff of futuristic science-fiction novels.
I think everyone benefits from the beauty of a hand-written message. Think of children and their birthday cards. They can’t carry around a text message. They can’t set an email greeting on their dresser to see every morning.
While I admit that I love the connectedness that the technology of today provides, and I would be lost without my cell phone and the texts and video chats it provides, I also love a good, old-fashioned card or letter. I love writing them, sending them, and receiving them.
So I will continue to hold onto the tradition of sending out Christmas Cards and Letters. My pile is just about done and ready to mail!