One more Christmas is over. Santa came with the Carol group from the local church. I was amused by Santa’s antics and watched him as he danced and swayed with his stick in his hand, while the carol group sang a carol song to the tune of a popular Hindi hit song. When he left, I remembered the childhood in which I waited for days for the Carol and the Santa. I tried to recollect when exactly I lost that innocence, wonder and excitement, when exactly did I grow up.
This time, I received a sole Christmas card. One of my uncles still continue the tradition of sending the greetings in form of the colourful printed paper. Even E-cards also seem to be waning in popularity. I received none this year.
I opened the Christmas card. Above the few printed lines wishing us a wonderful christmas was a list of my family members, and below was the list of his family members. I have a collection of christmas cards that I had received over the years lying somewhere in my home. If you check this uncle’s cards, you will find that in the initial years, it was addressed to my dad and my mom from my uncle and my aunt. Then, came the names of the children. Then, the names of their kid’s spouses. Now, grandchildren. The list has grown quite big. This year too, there has been addition of names. The card fills me with nostalgia.
Looking at the other christmas cards, I notice cards from some people who were dear friends once, but not even proper acquaintances now. There are cards from school friends and college friends of me and my siblings. There are cards from dad’s colleagues at different times. There are cards from people who we never ever think of or remember these days. The cards exist as a proof of the place they held in our lives once.
Sadly, no one sends cards anymore. They tweet, they sms, they update their facebook status. They send e-mails with a picture collected from google to a big mailing list of all the people they ever met or knew the mail ids of. They send smses one day ahead to save the higher charges on the festival day. Yes, these are good enough to convey the wishes, but I wish they could be stored for posterity like those paper cards of yore. I wish I could touch them, feel them and hang them in my Christmas tree, store them in a shoebox so that my kids could see them and babble to each other, ‘See that was a card Mamma got before she wed Pappa’. So that they remain for years, without getting erased from a hard disk or becoming inaccessible because of an obsolete format or technology.
All that will remain wishes. Christmas cards are part of a bygone era, just like printed photographs and handwritten letters. People will opt for convenience and economy and will never send them again. At least, they will never send so many that they used to send. That is so, yet I have made a new year resolution. To send Christmas cards to all my dear friends and family members next Christmas.
Happy New Year, everyone!