I received the following greeting recently – one line of greeting and the rest of it the usual junk:
Connie, CS & Lindy wish you a Merry Christmas and a Very Happy New Year.
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To be honest, I think this is so ludicrous.
But at least, the sender has bothered to type something:
“Connie, CS & Lindy wish you a Merry Christmas and a Very Happy New Year.”
E-cards are worse.
As a matter of principle I never open e-cards.
Past experience has taught me a lesson and that is – the moment you click to view an e-card you’re going to receive spam from the e-card mailer for the rest of your life.
However, more businesses are realizing that going the e-card way is kinder on their pockets.
The Christmas period used to be the peak period for the postman because of Christmas cards. Nine years ago, Singapore Post delivered about 8.3 million Christmas cards alone in the month of December. Now it handles only about 5.3 million.
The Internet and e-mail have changed everything
But I feel that e-cards lack a personal touch.
It’s like giving gifts – spending time picking an appropriate gift for someone shows you care. Just giving an ang pow of money is the easy way out.
It’s like helping the poor – if you sit on your fat ass and write a check it only goes to assuage your guilt and you’re only giving conscience money, but if you volunteer at the old age home or go to Aceh and actually help build houses for tsunami victims, that’s another story.
Similarly, if I think of Stephanie or Paula or Lynette and I make a trip to the store, invest considerable time and effort to pick out an appropriate card that will succinctly express my sentiments to Stephanie or Paula or Lynette, purchase the card, pen a few words from my heart, buy a stamp to stick it on the envelope and make my way to a post box to mail it, then it shows I truly care.
E-cards are often placed under spam folders and have the tendency to go unread anyway.
What’s worse than e-cards?
SMS greetings – I never respond to them.
By the way two most precious gifts I received this year are the first edition of When the Bough Breaks by Jonathan Kellerman and the first edition of Ritual Bath by Faye Kellerman. Both (hard cover) books were the authors’ first books. A dear friend sourced for the books, arranged for them to be signed by both authors and gave them to me on Christmas day. Now, that’s what I mean by thoughtful gifts!
NOTE: So, tomorrow’s the start of 2010.
I’ll spare you the usual puke-inducing year-end “Tiffany-started-menstruating-this year-and-Shirley-continues-to-teach-Sunday-school” type update and simply state that life is good and all is well here in Singapore.