Is paper out of fashion?

Do you send Christmas cards?

I do. I love Christmas cards. I love looking through all the boxes in the stores, trying to pick out which ones are my favourite, which ones I’ll choose to share our sentiments for the upcoming holidays. I love receiving Christmas cards from friends and family, even if they don’t have time for a note but just sign their names. Particularly since living in Ireland, receiving Christmas cards from friends at home means that much more because I know it requires exta effort during a busy time.

Lovely card from the Brighton Toy Museum

I love the pictures on Christmas cards – snowy scenes, bright red berries, jolly Santas, peaceful Nativities, smiling children. I especially like vintage or vintage-looking Christmas cards – the Victorian and 1940s era ones are particularly sweet. I think I still have enough childhood imagination left in me to picture myself in the world of that card, even for a  magical fleeting moment. It’s a welcome diversion in the midst of daily life. As the tagline for An Post, the Irish Postal Service, says, “The moment you send a card, it’s Christmas.” People definitely still send cards around here, and I love it.  It’s also another great way to give to charity, as most cards you’ll find in Ireland or the UK donate the proceeds to various charitable organisations.

I’m hoping to get my cards picked out this week – I have a few I like but I can’t decide, so I’ll have to get Frank to put in his vote. Then I hope we can take a family picture to enclose, and then I’ll need to make sure I have addresses, stamps, etc. I usually like to hand write a note into each one, but time will really be the dictator of my efforts this year. Still, I think the action of sending a card in and of itself is meaningful. I hope it is to others.

Real Vintage, still for sale

I think Christmas cards might be going out of style a bit, though… what do you think? People my age just don’t seem to bother much. It can get expensive with postage, and everyone is more used to doing their correspondence online. I certainly don’t begrudge anyone who doesn’t send me a card! 🙂

But I’m still old-fashioned. I love paper. Buy me a dog-eared used book over a Kindle any day. A note scrawled on a bit of scrap paper is a welcome change to an email that may be 500 words long. I curse the people who say “real” newspapers and magazines are on their way out and soon everything will be electronic. Call me a nerd, but I’d rather curl up in front of the fire with a cup of tea and a glossy new cooking magazine and than my laptop. Somehow my imagination gets ignited seeing full colour, touchable pictures in my hands rather than on a screen.

The Kelly Christmas Book Collection

A great tradition my mom started when we were kids was to hide all the Christmas books – some of which were hers or my dad’s from when they were kids – all year until the day after Thanksgiving. I think I was almost more excited for our version of Black Friday than I was for Thanksgiving. I couldn’t wait for her to pull out that old plastic crate of colourful storybooks that we were only allowed to read at Christmas time! I’ve already started a little collection for Evelyn – and really, come on, it wouldn’t be the same if I just hid a Kindle away all year, now would it? 🙂

And so I take my love for paper into the next generation.

Sadly, neither am I as artistic or inclined to do a lot of paper crafts. I LOVE it when someone sends me a handmade card or journal or whatever. I love the textures of handmade papers and I would love to play around with that a bit more. I used to do some scrap booking when I lived in the States, but not really here. I partly lost interest and I partly had to give it up because it’s just a lot more work to find crafting supplies, particularly when you’re on a budget. So I guess I’m not a paper Purist, at least not at this point. I secretly love to fiddle around with graphic design, probably more than getting my fingers sticky with glue and fibres.

Ultimately, I think the world is a better place with paper in it – as long as we’re keeping our forests sustainable and recycling the waste, of course! I’d hate to see everything go digital and for paper to merely be an artform or an antiquity. But I also see the value and excitement in this online world we’re living in… I wouldn’t be able to share my random writing otherwise! I just want to give a small shout out for Paper – I’m still a fan, always will be, and while Frank may take his DVDs to the grave, I will be taking my books. 🙂

Hope you get a chance to send – and receive – a few lovely REAL Christmas cards this season.  🙂

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