It may be a bit more complicated to walk to the post office and buy stamps to send beautifully packaged wishes... but for many of us, an electronic card will never replace the pleasure of receiving mail.
Our greeting cards originate from the 15th century, in England, where aristocrats who could afford ink and paper were sending good wishes, and merchants who were thanking their clients and suppliers soon adopted this practice. In 1796, lithography made its appearance and allowed to produce cards in large quantities. These cards were still too expensive for the poorest, and they began manufacturing their own, at home. That is how people of all social classes came to wish a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year by writing.
In 1840, the first stamp appeared and simplified the exchange of letters. The British, who were already used to sending cards, saw their tradition spread through Europe and in America and that is how, in the 1950s, it became common to send the cards we know today.
I wish you
The modern Christmas card, whether electronic or paper, makes us think about what we truly want for our family and friends. Through politics and our daily life, it forces us to stop and think about what would make them happy. It allows us to give them time while media and announcers try to make us believe that the size of a gift reflects the affection we have for a person.
However, sending a card might remind you that you have not visited grandma in a long time and that your cousin Nancy, who is having tough times, would appreciate if you brought the card in person with a hot chocolate. The greeting card helps you reflect on those you love and gives you an opportunity to think about them for Christmas without thinking about your budget.
Children learn very early to give crafts as gifts and work extremely hard to make you, and the ones they love, happy. Whether in daycare, at home or at school, greeting cards are the perfect way for them to participate in this gift exchange. In addition to giving them a great sense of sharing and affection, the reactions that they could receive from members of the family will give them a sense of pride and excitement that only mail could provide.
Of course, corporate mass mailing is likely to disappear, giving way to personalized virtual cards that will save time, money and paper, but I hope that the idea of making cards with the kids will live on and that those little words will continue to remind our loved ones that we wish them all the happiness in the world because that is the essence of Christmas spirit.