Tuesday, December 06, 2011

Of Christmas Cards And Thank You Notes

Yesterday morning I caught Stuart Varney asking his panel whether or not they still send Christmas cards.  Only one said yes and that was to see the family photos that often were included in those she got in return.

Considering the other excuses were simple and expected - it's so much easier to do it on line, I'd have thought catching up on family photos would be just as easy on Facebook.   But at least she does it for now.  By her own admission as the children grow up she too will end the practice.

The whole conversation depressed me.  Whatever happened to the art of letter writing?  It disappeared years ago.  Now even  the teaching off cursive writing in our schools is going to be eliminated.  One more time I see the world in which I was raised slowly disappearing.  It's sad.

I can remember as a child how I loved having pen pals from far away places.  I anxiously awaited birthday cards from grandma and grandpa because they othen contained maybe a whole dollar! I always wrote a letter to Santa and loved to leaf through the Christmas cards that filled our mail box a whole seven days a week throughout the season. I also remember my Mom sitting me down after Christmas or the birthday to crank out the thank you notes.  I came to find they were greatly appreciated.

Those days are gone forever.  Now even sending a greeting on Facebook or one of the greeting card sites seems like a chore. I do it - and don't.  I've gotten lazy and I say that with no pride.

I'm trying to remember the last time I actually got a personal letter in the mail.  I cannot remember the last time I wrote one.  I do though still send Christmas cards and on most write a line or two in greeting. I'm not big on newsletters.  Our life is pretty quiet and I suspect of little interest to others, even good friends.  That's also why I don't participate on Facebook.  If I don't want to share something with old friends why would I want to share it with the world?

 We send far fewer cards these days.  Our base of friends is shrinking as the years pass. That's why I feel strongly that at least once a year I can make the effort to remember good and long time friends with a personal, hand written greeting. It's a way to let them know they are special to me - to us.

And thank you notes?  Always!  Once again I slip into my mother's spirit and mourn the loss of the 'good old days'.  Times were not as frenetic as they are today.  People had time for one another and relished personal time together.  I suspect those days are soon to be no more than memory except for those of us of a certain age.

Perhaps the coming generations won't miss what they've never had.  But I'll miss those times and practices because they helped shape me into the person I am.  One who will still say please and thank you and still put pen to paper. I'll feel a pang of remorse though that we've not done the job of passing on these wonderful old traditions to those coming behind us.  It will be their loss and perhaps should be our shame.


Word Tosser said...

That is when I feel the oldest.. or feel my age... as I see the simple things in life, slip away. I did do a newsletter this year.. first time ever. But we did so some thing, enough to fill a page.. but mostly I just write a line.. unless I see the person often.. I,too, have not written a letter in a long time, and don't receive them either. My uncle use to write every week, so I was kept up on my toes. No one ever forgets to write right back to your uncle. lol..

Margie's Musings said...

I still send out Christmas Cards, Mari. I send a short note along for the ones nearby and a newsy newsletter to those I seldom see anymore. It's December 6th and I have only received two Christmas Cards so far.

I am my class locater and I get a class newsletter out each December...right after Christmas. I ask classmates to send me a newsletter with a short note with their news. Then I share that news with all my classmates. We started with 230 classlates and out of those 94 have gone on to their reward.

Betty said...

I miss those days, too. My mother had two Christmas card lists, one for Daddy's patients and one for their personal friends. It used to take her all afternoon to address and mail them.

As to Thanks You notes, my cousin once did the family a tremendous service by taking care of some family business that took many months to conclude. I sent him a Thank You note and his wife replied that they were very pleased, because I was the only person in the family to do so.

I don't send Christmas cards these days, and most of my friends and family don't either. I miss it.