We had our annual Feast of Appetizers & Christmas Cocktails party this weekend. It was great fun with lots of yummy food and a chance to catch up with people who live close by and are dear to our hearts. At some point someone noted that they haven’t received many Christmas cards this year. I only have six hanging in my kitchen but I’m expecting plenty more in these last two weeks before the holiday. Indeed, mine are still sitting here waiting to be addressed and sent as well.
It was a brief conversation but someone noted that they think Facebook has ruined the Christmas card. Her point is that we already know what most people are doing so there’s no need to send a card. It’s probably true to some extent. I still think there’s a place for the simple Christmas card though. Even for people who see pictures of my family online. Even for people who see me nearly every day. I think the Christmas card is a lovely way to tell someone we are thinking of them at this special time of year.
But Christmas cards isn’t what I’m thinking of this morning (though I should be to get this pile off my desk). No, the part that stuck with me was the need to keep in touch with people.
I check Facebook nearly every day. I am on Twitter throughout the day. I post random pictures of my daily life on Instagram. I work, shop and read online. My first mode of communication tends to be email or text. I live in a very connected world. And yet, I think there’s something to be said for reaching out beyond 140 characters or the caption of a photo. For sending an email to a high school friend each year on his birthday. For dropping a card in the mail for a friend who lives, literally, around the corner. For writing a handwritten note of thanks when someone does something for me.
I love the Internet in many, many ways but I have a special place in my heart for good, old-fashioned reaching out and touching someone. It may be a lost art but I’ll hang on to it as long as I can.