Life & Style

You’ve got real mail

It is the most wonderful time of the year. The tree is bedecked. Presents are being wrapped. The aroma of holiday baking has filled the air, and everybody has played at least one round of Secret Santa. And while it is so easy to be caught up in all the festivity and merriment Christmas brings, there are those who still take time out to make their loved ones feel special by sending them handmade and handwritten Christmas cards.

For Jenny Saldanha, a teacher and counsellor, it has been a tradition to send out Christmas cards for over 25 years now. She states, “I do believe that when friends, relatives or people you haven’t kept in touch with, receive a handwritten card, it touches them deeply. Being remembered makes them feel so special. There is always much joy when one receives something in the mailbox.”

Divya Sehgal, a copywriter, says, “I love receiving any sort of greeting or postcard. Especially in this age when it is so easy to wish people on WhatsApp or via email, there is a sense of intimacy in sending and receiving cards, especially during Christmas. My living room feels incomplete if the mantelpiece is not adorned with Christmas cards. When you receive a card, it makes you feel special knowing that someone has put in that extra effort thinking about you. I send out cards for the same reason.”

This is the busiest time of the year for artists and designers, especially for the ones who not only create cute and quirky cards, but also send them out to family and friends. According to illustrator Alicia Souza, “When it comes to Christmas, all my joy is in giving and the same goes for Christmas cards. I send out over 200 cards at Christmas. I love the whole process of remembering people as I write their names in the card and sign off with love. I usually do it with Christmas music playing in the background so it is truly joyous.”

She adds, “My Christmas card this year is a partridge in a pear tree. I usually draw whatever idea comes into my head first. That is the first one I thought of and I drew it. My ‘card of the year’ is always the most popular.”

Designer and illustrator Aakansha Menon explains, “I try not to go with the usual Santa Claus or Christmas tree theme. I try to illustrate with a humorous twist, like an ice cream which resembles a Christmas tree or Santa’s face embroidered on a white sweater. It is always something simple that people appreciate and buy.”

While sending out store-bought Christmas cards is a thoughtful thing to do, there are those (non-artists) who go the extra mile, making cards on their own. “I spend much time writing cards and sometimes making them too, for I know how much happiness and joy it brings to the receiver. For those folks who aren’t tech-savvy, even a simple Christmas card makes all the difference, when received from a loved one. I know of some people who still cherish the memories made over the years and who sometimes go back to their collections of Christmas cards to relive the memories.”

Sneha Vachhaney, a Senior Product Manager says, “I always prefer making cards even if it is a simple sheet of paper folded with a Christmas tree drawn with colour pencils. It makes the whole thing even more personal. If I buy cards, I try to buy them from NGOs or other such places where children, an independent artist or a freelancer can benefit.”

If you’re one of those last minute card senders or if you’re now inspired to post them to your favourite people, it’s not too late to come up with sweet yet simple designs. Alicia suggests, “If you have holiday wrapping paper, you can stick it on card stock, cut out a square or rectangle, and use it as a tag or card. Accessories such as pompoms or ribbons on top of a simple card, can make it pretty. I always recommend drawing a card. It is so heartfelt.”

“You could make a picture collage using magazine or newspaper cut outs to create Christmassy imagery. No two cards you make would look the same. For example, you could go for a Christmas tree silhouette made out of a graphics page from a magazine,” recommends Aakansha, adding, “If you’re good with words then instead of an artwork, you could write a short poem about Christmas celebrations, probably in a fancy typeface with simple elements such as candies, bells, Santa hats, or reindeer horns.”

With less than a week left for Christmas, we suggest you get to work on these cards already!

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Printable version | Oct 26, 2020 12:43:31 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/life-and-style/youve-got-real-mail/article22036896.ece

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