O Come All Ye Old Fashioned. And Joy To The Handwritten Word.

The older I get, the more like my grandmother I’m beginning to feel.

She resisted change. She denied it’s existence. She’d pine for the way things were.

I have always thought of myself as someone who can roll with the changes. I may not have the latest iphone but I’m familiar enough with technology to create and maintain a blog. Okay. That may not be saying much but I still know people who use their computers for email and online shopping and that’s about it. At least I’ve taken it a step further.

I’m frustrated that a 4 year old computer is past its prime. I still have an old Blackberry and my daughter is dragging me, kicking and screaming, to update my phone. I say, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Sure I’m overdue for a new phone by about 2 years. But it’s working just fine and I’m cheap. (I blame my Scottish great-grandparents for that trait.)

My friend just came back from a conference about her daughter’s progress. She, like me, is frustrated with the lack of emphasis on penmanship and math facts. They gave her some hooey about critical thinking skills being the focus. That calculators and computers are where it’s at. That someday, even typing skills will be obsolete. We’ll soon be talking into handheld devices that will type for us.

And here it is, December 6th and I’ve yet to receive a Christmas card. Oh, sure. There’s still time but I remember years when receiving a card after Thanksgiving got my butt into high gear, pushing me to finish our stack. Currently, our cards are gathering dust in the corner. I’m apathetic about sending them out. I guess I need the motivation. I need to know that others enjoy the holiday card tradition, too. C’mon, people! Send me a card so it’ll guilt me into getting with the program. Someone has to keep the US Postal Service in business. Let it begin with you. And me.

I have a feeling, within a week or so, I’ll start receiving holiday ecards.  Silly elves with your faces plastered on them, dancing a merry tune. A happy holiday catch phrase. And then your e-signature. Or maybe you’ll send a shout out on Facebook or Twitter.

Today, I sit here pining for the old days. The days of multiplication facts dancing in my head. Crystal clear penmanship, in silver script, on a good old fashioned Christmas card.

Call me an old fuddy-duddy. It’s okay. I can take it.

For as connected as we think we are with all of this new technology, I can’t help but feel we are missing something. True connections to the people we love. Fine motor skills. Exercising our brains with good old fashioned memorization. Do you rely on your address book in your phone as much as I do? Heaven forbid if my phone should die. Without caller ID or the numbers in my phone, I’d be lost.

And then there’s the care and time it takes to sit down and hand write a holiday card. The delicious thrill of seeing personal mail addressed to you among the bills and junk mailers. Instead we have fallen prey to mass-emailings and status updates.

O come, all ye old-fashioned. Pick up your pens. Write a card by hand. Stamp it and mail it.

Joy to the handwritten word!


Filed under Deep Thoughts

12 responses to “O Come All Ye Old Fashioned. And Joy To The Handwritten Word.

  1. I am just off to the post office to post this year’s cards. Mind you it’s become so bloomin’ expensive I’ve culled the list considerably! Personally I HATE e cards…..

  2. I sent one your way two days ago!! 🙂 xo

  3. There are very few things that make me feel more special than getting a note in the mail. It seems a lot more purposeful than someone shooting a quick e-mail my way!

  4. NCMountainwoman

    I regularly email several friends. But I also write notes throughout the year and mail them to friends I don’t see often. As for ecards…I delete them without opening them. And I’m making notes in our Christmas cards now but will wait another week to send them.

  5. Fuddy duddy here too! I love old-fashioned Christmas cards. They’re just starting to drip in over here and it makes me so happy to see words and pictures from friends mixed in among the bills and fliers. It’s a tradition that I value and one that I hope doesn’t go the way of the Tandy 1000!

  6. I agree. We need to keep teaching our children to write cursive, send handwritten cards and letters, and everything else. I’m a little behind on sending out my Christmas cards this year. (Nothing new there.) But I vow that I will never, NEVER send e-cards. How tacky.

  7. My two boys penmanship is terrible. A few years ago, I asked my younger son about his writing and he point blank said that using pen and pencil had no real value-ugh. To this day, he can slap out a thought on a key board and he looks pained using a pen or pencil.

    I used to do cards every year. I have now moved it back to every other year. Thinking about what you wrote, we have received only one card so far on 12/8.

    Happy Holidays to you and your family.


  8. Oh thank you. I’m taking a break from writing out cards…each with it’s own handwritten note at the bottom…and I got tired…so far I haven’t received any e-cards…but not that many real ones either. Hmmmm….

  9. I agree, but…
    Spouse addresses and writes the 100 cards. He sets aside about 20 for me to write “I really miss you! Love and warmth and all good things, —Me”

    And even that seems exhausting. I have twenty billion things to do. Friends are important. Paramount. But.

    He sent his 80 cards today. And I will be lucky to send mine this weekend, after two client deadlines, after getting the kids through hanukkah, and all the christmas presents they make, and homework and fighting and food preparation and playdates.

    I would never send an ecard for the holidays. At least not a mass ecard.

    But sometimes a “Hey!” text in July is worth more than an obligatory card in December. There’s just so much else to do.

    (And yes, I could have written two of my cards in the time it took to comment, but you count as a friend, too, and I’m more willing to engage in dialogue than in snail mail monologue. I won’t get replies from any of those holiday cards. But I might from you!)

    Happy Holidays, Jane!

  10. I love this post. I was devastated to learn that my daughter’s school will be not teaching cursive to her class. The art and personal touch seems to get lost in this technology filled world.

    Happy Holidays, Jane!

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