My letterbox – such an old-fashioned device in these days on inboxes and outboxes – is becoming more cluttered than ever. Perhaps I should be pleased for this increased influx consists mainly of seasonal greetings. I am being wished all manner of goodwill, bonhomie and success by so many people.
Well, not so much people, as entities. The Christmas cards are flooding in from corporations, businesses and, inevitably, charities and money-seekers. Without except, their felicitations cloak a wish that I will buy their product, favour their services or contribute to their causes.
Increasingly this has become not so much the season of goodwill to all men but rather one of let’s have your money now and for the year(s) to come.
Much as deride the incessant and ever-increasing commercialisation of a season that was never meant to be thus, there are moments when I feel a fleeting glow of welcome towards these well-wishers. They, after all, have at least bothered to create, sign and mail a Christmas card. Which is something so very few “friends” seem able to do.
No one seems able, willing or caring enough to take the trouble of seeking an appropriately worded Christmas card, penning a few personal words and walking to a real mailbox to send it on its way.
Instead, the inboxes of our computers are recipients of a ceaseless flow of e-cards that are sent at the click of a button without scant touch of the personal about them.
They are the lazy way of communicating. They show little of the personal feelings they purport to express. They simply compound the overall debasement of Christmas.
Their only merit is that they can be instantly deleted, whereas the junk in my letterbox merely adds to the mountains of garbage generated at this most wasteful time of year.