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A thing of the past

Christmas greeting cards with a handwritten message have now become a thing of the past. E-cards and emails have replaced them.

Published: 24th December 2021 06:32 AM  |   Last Updated: 24th December 2021 06:32 AM   |  A+A-

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Express News Service

KOCHI: For many, especially millennials, sending Christmas cards to friends and family members was like a ritual. Come December, the hunt for colourful New Year and Christmas cards begins. Even during the exam rush, gifting cards to teachers and friends were a thing of joy for Amala C Satheesh, a freelance writer in Thiruvananthapuram. “It was one of the sweet moments of childhood. I would save the money received as Vishu kaineettam to buy Christmas cards in December and pester my parents to take me to buy them. Apart from my friends, I would keep some special glittery cards for my favourite teachers too. We used sketch pens and glitter pens to write to our friends and make doodles in the cards,” she recollects.

For the generation born between the 80s and 90s, greeting cards means taking time to remember one. According to Divya Nair from Kochi, it was a thrilling experience to own the cards. “It has now become a rarity to see them. Receiving a card with your name on the envelope with someone penning their messages in the card inside was a special feeling. It was a way of telling people we loved them and we were thinking of them. These handwritten letters cannot be replaced by Watsapp messages or video wishes. Also, the kids of today including my daughter who is in primary class don’t know about greeting cards as what they do is create cards using chart papers. If I could find them in the market would buy them,” adds Divya who works as a techie.

Krishna Ajith, a native of Maruthankuzhy, still cherishes every greeting card she received. “They are priceless possessions. But it all ended after school days as after joining college the trend changed to social media greetings,” says Krishna.

Kochi-based digital content creator, Visakh Nandhu recalls with a wicked smile that it was also a medium to profess their feelings. “Cards are a better way to express our love rather than writing letters. Once, I found eyed a big Christmas card to gift my friend to express my love for her. I didn’t have enough money to buy it as it cost Rs 500. I was restless and guarding the card so that nobody buys it waiting for my neighbour who promised help. To my surprise, an elder woman gave me money, asked me to buy the card and gift it to my lover. It was an unforgettable moment for me,” says Vishak. 

A vanishing tradition

Now, the cards have fewer takers. The stretches near Central Library and University College in Palayam were a hot spot for Christmas-New Year greeting cards in former years and now they are deserted. Rafeeq Ali, a shop owner adds they are not popular among the children now. “We used to have Christmas-New Year cards of various sizes and themes. But now it is rare for someone to buy them. In old days, the front space of the shop used to have special greeting card stalls.

The pandemic also played a role in the vanishing of roadside card sales,” he adds. Apart from celebrated brands like Archies, there were cards printed by local presses. Bijumon OJ, an employee at Government Press in Mananthala says, “Two decades ago many public and private groups used to print greeting cards in our districts. But now it is very limited. Only presses under churches print limited greetings to circulate among clergymen.”



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