Christmas cards, anyone?

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By Adrian Bobe

A-Listed!

Tuesday, September 2, 2014


OH! CHRISTMAS cheer is already in the air! With the start of the ‘ber’ months, most of us may have already been digging in our cabinets and piles of old Christmas ornaments.

I think is one of the first Christmas articles you will be reading on the second day of September. However, there is one thing that makes Christmas way different than it was, in 1995 or early 2000s. And this haunts me every time we welcome the ‘ber’ season.

When was the last time you send or receive a Christmas card? Many of us even forgot now how it looks like.

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In the United States, polls showed that in the last two decades a household sends at least 28 Christmas cards and receives equally the same number. However, in recent years there was a pullout of numbers, resulting to the decline in the volume of cards sent and received. The statistics, however, does not only hold true in the US but in countries like the Philippines.

This decline is blamed on the advancements in technology and breakthroughs in making communication faster and cheaper. With the Internet, the world has shrunk into a global village, making information—both sending and receiving—readily accessible.

People now opt to send their Christmas wishes through electronic mails, voice or video messages instead of mailing paper greeting cards. With the improvements of telephone and cellular phones, greeters extend through unlimited calls and short messages at very inexpensive and low costs. How sad is it to hear these.

In a random survey, eight of 10 people in their late 30s and early 40s think that sending cards through the traditional way is “making the Christmas greeting more personalized and sentimental,” while greeting the ‘E-way’ decreases the value and sincerity of the sender.

In another random study, nine out of 10 teenagers choose to send their greetings through text messages, pointing out that it is “very cheap, fast and delivers instant feed backs.”

One of 10, however, still sees the importance of handwritten messages as “it gives your sender the assurance that he is valued and important as picking the right card with the right content is already an effort.”

Christmas is an opportunity for people to express their feelings and thoughts through cards. It is more personal while the present way of sending and receiving Christmas letters through the Internet may tend to hide the real messages of the sender.

This was the similar idea shared by postmasters of Negros, who after years of service, has seen how the number of cards declined 20 to 30 percent, far from the bulk of cards sent and received 10 to 20 years ago.

In a visit at a bookstore in the city, I have observed that among the nearly 100 customers, who mostly are window shopping for books and other educational items, at least three shoppers would look at the Christmas cards rack and only one shopper would pay for two or three cards and bring it home.

A sales girl shared that during December, Christmas cards stock would range nearly to 1,000 items, with each card produced with at least 18 designs.

A similar situation can be observed in stores in downtown area. Far from its nearly 10 racks of cards, four to five of which for Christmas cards in late 2000, presently, it declined to half of its number of racks, with one rack dedicated for Christmas Cards.

A department store employee lamented that they even lower the price to 40 or 50 percent during sale, and, at times repack cards and sell it in fives and tens for a lower price. “It has tremendously lost its appeal to market,” she added.

Sending Christmas cards through air or hand mails is a tradition that the current generation should not forget as it is an expression of love and effort. I may be enjoying the social media age big time, but hey, more and more people are missing the old times. Especially when a post man would hand in a glittery envelope in your door, surprising you with a card worth reading over and over.

Published in the Sun.Star Bacolod newspaper on September 02, 2014.

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