Communications Obsolescence

For good or for bad, the world changes around us and it often seems that communication between people has become obsolete. Most of us don’t begin to realize this until we are beyond the years of child rearing. During that time we’re too busy to realize anything short of the house falling down around us. Most of these changes remain good fodder for future posts. One, however, rose up and draped itself around my neck in a choke-hold today in an attempt to destroy my best holiday spirit. It all started when I decided to get my Christmas cards out on time.

To me, one of the best parts of the Christmas season was the yearly Christmas cards and letters that came with them. These yearly letters were often the only communication of the year with some individuals. I would make pretty decorations of them, stringing them down the wall, putting them on the tree, arranging them on the mantel, etc. Guests would stop and look at them and family would pick them up and enjoy the yearly news also. Now the internet has come upon us, as has the high cost of stamps, and from many people I get cards in my email. They are beautiful and you don’t have to write a letter to go in them. I watch them and in some cases get teary eyed. One of these days I may start using them myself.

So today when I started though the address book to get a count for how many cards I need to buy, I took note of the ones that send email cards, those who send no letter and the many who are friends and second or third generation family who no longer send anything. My dilemma now is, do I continue sending cards to those who no longer send to me until they are guilted into sending a late card back? Do I send a Christmas letter? Surely if someone no longer sends me one they won’t be interested in mine? But, maybe because I am a writer or maybe because I am just nostalgic for the times that have changed, I will trudge to the store and buy cheap cards that aren’t nearly as pretty as the email ones. I will write a dull Christmas letter because I don’t have anything exciting to tell about the past year and send it out as usual. I will send cards to those I know won’t return them or will do so only because I sent them one. As evidenced by the fact that I have used the word Christmas ten times in a three paragraph post, I will continue to maintain the Christmas spirit and play Christmas music and wish everyone a “Merry Christmas” and I will even — yes — carry on the yearly Christmas card ritual.