An elderly gentleman brought a 50-year-old Christmas card into the office this week and something about the card struck me right away. Inside was a neat little hand-written message in a long-forgotten style of writing. The words were crisp and neat. You can tell that penmanship is a lost art in our educational system today.
I was shown another Christmas card this morning - a clever, hand-made (computer aided) version that made you laugh from front to back. It was a creative art form and one you would keep and remember.
But these are the exception. Christmas cards don't seem as important today as they once were. Maybe it's a change in me. But I think that the art of letter-writing - especially in the form of Christmas cards, is a lost or dying art.
I well remember Christmas cards of my youth. They were not computer generated but instead were neatly hand-written histories of events during the past year. They were designed to bring you up-to-date on the comings and goings of a family all wrapped in the Christmas holiday cheer.
I received two Christmas cards today where even the signature was computer generated. If it's the thought that counts, then I got the message.
Christmas cards will someday give way to holiday e-mail messages. In some cases, they already have. It's just another step in the loss of personal contact that is all-too-rapidly being eroded from out society.
Maybe we'll return to the Christmas cards of my youth. Maybe the messages will get longer and the personal information more personal. But like so many other aspects of the modern world, Christmas cards will someday be but a distant memory. And that will be our loss.