The world is not lost to sending and receiving greeting cards the good ol' way this Christmas and New Year season
One would like to believe that in this age of the Internet, Christmas and New Year cards would have become obsolete. But strangely, the concept of sticking a stamp on an envelope with a card and posting it, after handwriting Christmas and New Year wishes in them, still persists. I have just returned from Copenhagen and noticed that sending cards out all across the west still prevails among the older generation.
Sending cards is a more prevalent practise in the older generation. Youngsters buy cards to exchange along with gifts, to one another and tend to post hand-written or hand-made cards only to close relatives and friends.
UNICEF cards were big on the wish list of many Bangaloreans in the past. The thought was that the money spent buying the cards was to be used to feed poor children across the globe.
Many shifted to buying CRY cards and other merchandise as the concept behind the card was doing charity for a cause, but the cause was closer home — supporting India's poor children. The Indian Mouth and Foot Painting Artists too have a popular selection of cards for the new year, along with calendars. “Being an artist myself, I prefer sending cards from the Foot and Mouth Artists as I know the money goes to support a physically challenged artist,” reveals Shobha Nagendran. Despite postage costing Rs. 4 if the envelope is left open and Rs. 5 if the envelope is stuck down, (within the country), a large number of multinationals and businesses in the city, still prefer handwriting and posting their New Year cards.
Archie's Christmas merchandise is popular among all age groups as they cater to a variety of tastes and desires.
“I always buy my New Year cards from Archie's,” says Sana Mashood. “They have a big variety and I prefer sending a card especially to my brother who is studying in Melbourne, besides sending him a Hallmark e-card.” Mona Printer sits with a pile of cards, addressing them to relatives dotted across the globe.
Why does she as to her reason for spending so much money on hand posting a Christmas card? “I enjoy writing cards and sending something personal from me to my loved ones across the miles,” she says. “I know it's a bit odd — this sending of cards with pictures of snow and Santas from India, but now I look for more traditional Indian motifs, especially cards sold at the charity bazaars held over the season.”
“I post my cards in November to beat the Christmas and New Year postal rush,” says Loretta Furtado.
“This year I was lucky to get a relative visit earlier in the year, so I wrote out my cards and gave them to her to post in Australia, to all my children and relatives there,” she said.
“I buy my Christmas cards at the Home for the Aged charity bazaar,” said Maureen Noronha. “It is for a good cause and the cards are usually recycled from the old ones many of us donate to the home once the season is over. My relatives are in the UK, Pakistan and Canada, so I post them off early so they reach on time.”
Buying Christmas and New Year cards is a tradition that happily has not gone out of style. And as my postman says when he delivers them to collect his New Year baksheesh, “I hope people don't ever stop sending cards amma, as it keeps our jobs alive.”
MARIANNE DE NAZARETH