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Christmas Cards

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I’ve noticed that many traditions Americans used to maintain have declined measurably. Some of these traditions have gone the way of the dodo with the arrival of the internet while others declined due to a lack of stricter discipline among the generations themselves. Take going to Catholic Mass and look at the majority of developed nations that have seen an incredible decline in the amount of participation, even during the ‘submarine days’ (those Holy Days where many Catholics attend church and none other, Christmas and Easter come to mind). These traditions may seem to originate from a bygone era and have no present impact on our world, but think of the things that happen because of a failure to do them.

Let us take a brief look at the nearly deceased tradition of sending Christmas Cards.

A Christmas Card was one of the few times that families separated over a large distance could send a thoughtful note and well wishing to each other, along with select friends and possible business contacts. The card generated millions of jobs for postal employees, card makers, transportation, paper makers, etc. Most of those jobs have usually been in the same nation as the people who are mailing the cards. This tradition also helped remind us of who we missed in our lives and that more frequent contact should be started. They help keep our families together and foster positivity amongst the community. Usually the mailing of large amounts of cards encourages the rekindling of romances, of other traditions (such as tipping your butcher, your lawncare service, and that same postal delivery person). Lastly, they provide us a means of maintaining addresses and photos (usually one would send a family photo as a card or inside of it).

Today the act of email and electronic greetings have all but totally eliminated the receipt and sending of said cards. Many jobs are thus eliminated (offering the savings of only a few dollars a family.. but thousands of jobs), the thought of a digital card and the effort to send one is an order of magnitude less than the paper variety. They prevent us from critically thinking about both our loved ones and our place among the greater world (because physical cards can be saved and have a tactile sensation.. an emotional attachment). Finally the emails and electronic greetings provide a virtual simulation of the reality we use to enjoy. Instead of life, we have life-lite… or a diet-reality. There is no physical connection shared among each other and no permanent recording of our love for each other because they are replaced by a swarm of 0’s and 1’s located in another realm that probably will not be passed on to our descendants (imagine again those photos of your grandparents, now imagine your great grandchildren trying to look through a CD of your pile of digital pictures.. if they CD lasted or had a means to be read).


Truly, this is one tradition we should not ignore, and certainly we would all benefit in its’ maintenance.


Written by Josecito

December 19, 2011 at 8:34 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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