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Monday, December 21, 2015

Is this the end of an era???

I'm referring to the tradition of sending Christmas cards. My mum lived a long way from her family so sending Christmas cards was quite a tradition in my childhood. Even if my mother didn't communicate with her friends and family from the southern states during the rest of the year, she always sent Xmas cards and a letter! 
My parents didn't 'display' the cards like many of their friends who would drape cards over venetian blind slats, stand cards on sideboards or string cards up on cords tied from one corner of a room to another. There even seemed to be some sort of 'competition' of who had received the most cards!!! My friend's grandma always seem to 'win' the 'most cards comp'...which always impressed me as a child. 
Even my local pharmacy has some cards from customers hanging up near the registers...

When I married, my first husband and I compiled our own Xmas card list but it was me who wrote out all the cards and envelopes. When I met DH, we combined our lists but we would each write out our own. DH would put up a cord in our lounge room and we would use little pegs to put the cards on display. In the 13 years we've been together, the number of cards we've received each year, has noticeably decreased. Consequently the number of cards that we send has also decreased. People's habits/traditions have changed...often for economic reasons as well as time constraints. It takes time to write out the cards and address the envelopes and then after Christmas, the cards usually get discarded. 


In light of the rather large increase in postage to take effect on January 4, 2016. I have decided that for us, the 'era' of sending cards will end this year. There will be some exceptions...some elderly friends and relatives who don't have computers, let alone Internet connection, will still get 'snail mail' cards from us. So what will the 'new era' entail?
For quite a few years I have subscribed to the Jacquie Lawson site and for a yearly sub, I am able to send any number of eCards to friends and family...and I do. I recently renewed, but took a 2 year subscription this time for $20, which is great value because I really do send LOTS of cards per year. The company has kept up with the times and I can send cards to not only people's email addresses, but also to friends' Facebook pages or Messenger private messages. This is really handy if I'm not sure if their email address is still current. 
In the last few days, DH has written out cards for his list and  I have written out and posted 17 cards via 'snail mail'. I have also sent 50 eCards and have lots more to send. The animated cards are always so much fun...one friend wrote back to say it (the card I sent) made her wish 'she was a child again!'. 
Now here is one of my 'blasts from the past'...
I have kept a lot of my mum's 'recipe clippings'; she was always cutting out recipes from newspapers and magazines and possibly never making the recipes but that's beside the point! Lol. And I don't know why I kept them either??? Any way amongst the clippings were some Christmas cards and that's what I'm going to share with you...
Some of you may remember when stamps cost 20 and 21 cents??? 
The cards...
The messages...
The card at the top was from my mum's friend Edna who lived in Lake Charm in Victoria. Edna and my mum met and became friends when they were in the army during WW2. Every year, until my mum's death in 2001, they sent Xmas cards to each other. Reading Edna's letter, and seeing certain events mentioned, I can say that her card was for Christmas 1979! A while ago now and that explains the 20 cents postage!!

11 comments:

Susan said...

I do get a few ecards and they are fun but I'll be staying with the old school a while longer yet - I love getting real cards and have a special hanger that holds as many as we receive and if I am not going to send them I can't expect my friends to send one back - so I will help keep Australia Post going a bit longer..and I like to look back over last years before I send out this years. We always include a letter too which summarises our year and these cards go to all the interstate friends and relatives...I don't send many to local friends anymore.

Una said...

Our postage in the UK is very dear as well. I send a few special cards though. I was shocked at how much it costs to send a card from the UK to Ireland. I think it is sad but completely understandable that this tradition is becoming less important.

Cynthia said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Cynthia said...

Oops! Mary again.
I still send actual cards to friends who are far away who won't see over Christmas. I love getting cards and
I display them to enjoy into the new year. Then I put them away and sometime in the summer I read them again and throw the ones I don't use for crafts. The best ones have a letter in them, wonderful even if it's a copied letter. I've never received an ecard for Christmas, though I have for my birthday. Somehow they just don't seem as personal to me, but I do understand about the expense of postage these days.

angela said...

Yes when first married I wrote and sent cards. But as the years progressed the list got smaller and now I just don't bother. Makes cleaning during Christmas easier. No cards to dust around. Facebook is great for sending ecards and email for those without a Facebook account as well. You can pop on when you have a spare minute and get it all done

Lin said...

I am with you to a certain extent Maria - it always seems to me a little pointless to send cards to people you see regularly through the year. However there are people that I have not seen for years and to open an envelope with their card inside is always such a pleasure that I would hate to give up sending to them. We are in rented accommodation in UK for Christmas and I have strung all my cards across the room and they look so lovely and cheerful in someone elses sitting room. xx

Alison Holstein said...

Times have really changed. I can remember as a child my mum and family receiving masses of Xmas cards. Now she is lucky to receive a grand total of 10. Like you say Maria, life has got so much busier, so many people are time poor and the cost of postage greater. I love the look of the Jacquie Lawson page - a great idea.

Vireya said...

A friend sends me the Jacquie Lawson Advent Calendar each year, and I love it. Thanks for the warning about the postage increase. I hadn't heard about it.

I think the cost of cards is outrageous these days. Recently I wanted to get a simple birthday card, and was in a town with only a newsagent (no $2 shops), and was stunned to find the cards were $8 - $10 each. For a piece of card with some printing on it! How much does it cost to produce a card? (Given that they are $1 each at the $2 shops.) I saved my money and put it towards the present instead.

margaret said...

Like you I have not sent many cards, 14 in total and I think 2 of the dear old ladies might have passed away as I have not heard from them and they are both around 100 years old, dear friends of my late Mum and the day after I posted them another friend I sent to passed on so it will be down to 11 next year. Do not understand about internet cards so have not used them yet.
Wishing you and DH a lovely and peaceful Christmas.

doodles n daydreams said...

I love sending out Christmas cards and I think it is sad that people don't send them any more but can understand why. Over the last few years ours have dwindled in number as well, I guess it's just a sign of the times.
Merry Christmas.

Diana

Cynthia said...

I clicked the box that says Email Followup Comments To ... Is that what I need to do so you can reply?