A friend called last night to say he’d received his Christmas card. “You’re the only one who still does that,” he said before proceeding to call me a “tree-killing Luddite.” (It should be noted that the pair of us were put on Earth for the singular purpose of antagonizing the other).
“Do you even know what ‘Luddite’ means?” I asked.
“Technologically unsavvy, is how I understand it. Haven’t you ever heard of e-cards?”
“I think you better consult a dictionary – you don’t know what you’re talking about.” This is when I decided I better consult a dictionary in case I was in fact the one who didn’t know what she was talking about.
Luddite: n. 1. Any of a group of British workers who between 1811 and 1816 rioted and destroyed laborsaving textile machinery in the belief that such machinery would diminish employment. 2. One who opposes technical or technological change.
Ha! You cannot say that I oppose technology. A tree-killer, maybe.
My Facebook newsfeed over the last couple of months revealed that many people were trimming the fat from their budgets this year by cutting Christmas cards. I read sentiment after sentiment which all boiled down to, “Are you worth 54 cents?”
Well. I’m not the only one who sends Christmas cards. I need only look at my window sills, laden with missives even in this crappy economy, to reassure me of that. I don’t need to go into a song and dance about why a handwritten note is better than an e-card. You know how much you treasured the last e-card you received. What about the last note you received in the mail?
A columnist for the Globe was recently on about how she wished people stop sending her Christmas cards because it makes her feel bad about not sending them back. But getting return cards, although nice, has very little to do with sending out Christmas cards in the first place. Spending a few minutes to craft a personal note to a loved one is really the only thing left that truly embodies the spirit of Christmas in a season that’s turned overwhelmingly secular.
I love you. I miss you. Thank you for your help. Let’s get together. Stay well. I know it was a hard year, 2010 will be better. I’m here for you if it isn’t.
54 cents is a trifling cost to convey these important messages of goodwill. Chances are you’re not buying gifts for most of the people on the card list anyway. Even if I were destitute, I’ll be damned if I ever stop sending Christmas cards. I’ll cut gifts before I’ll cut cards.
I’ll be a tree-killing “Luddite” ’til I die.