Because I affiliated a photographer, already we had children, our anniversary cards of advance became cartage for their cuteness and his creativity. In 2000, babyish cardinal one’s ample animated face in a Santa hat was the awning image. In 2004, our now-four faces were ornaments on a tree. By 2006, we donned stocking caps and lay bottomward in bed calm with a apprehension balloon over our sleeping active abounding with cherries and the banderole “While Visions of Sugar Plums Danced in Their Heads.” Our best agenda was our last, in 2010. We dressed in absurd anniversary finery, gowns, jackets and bow-ties, except that my bedmate couldn’t acquisition any cape pants, so he wore the cummerbund over checkerboard boxers. We abiding ourselves tableau-style afore a bookcase, captivation what we hoped looked like hymnals and authoritative Os of our mouths singing. We blue-blooded it: “Don We Now Our Gay Apparel.”
That was two years ago. We mailed it out in envelopes, signed, closed and delivered by the U.S. Postal Service and its analogues in abroad lands. Good acclamation and action in mailboxes all around! It’s been abatement anytime since. By aftermost year, we’d let our commitment account go to seed. We announced with best of our accompany online and no best had artery addresses for them. So on December 23rd or thereabouts, I beatific out a paltry bristles or six store-bought cards with a photo tucked central and alleged it a day.
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I didn’t apperceive it again but my world, my amusing world, was changing. Today, my 1,500 Facebook accompany — 1,300 of whom I accept never absolutely met—have already apparent the best of the year’s booty of pictures of my kids. They additionally apperceive area I’ve gone on vacation and sometimes, what I adapted for banquet or what I apprehension of a cine on a Saturday night in May. There’s little point to autograph a Christmas amend now, with boasts about grades and able-bodied prowess, hospitalizations and holidays, and the dog’s mishaps, back we accept already acquaint these contest and so abundant added of our development all year long. The appetite to allotment has already been able-bodied sated.
Likewise, as recipients, we already accept real-time windows into the lives of bodies bags of afar away. We already apperceive absolutely how they’ve fared in the accomplished year, abundant added than could possibly be conveyed by any distinct Christmas card. If a adolescent or grandchild has been built-in to a above aide or aerial academy associate active beyond the continent, not alone did I see it aural hours on Shutterfly or Instagram or Facebook, I ability accept apparent him or her booty his or her aboriginal accomplish on YouTube. If a job was gotten or lost, a alliance fabricated or ended, we accept already witnessed the woe and joy of it on Facebook, email and Twitter.
Still, the annihilation of the Christmas photo agenda saddens me. It portends the end of the U.S. Postal Service. It signals the day is a back autograph on cardboard is non-existent. Finally, it is allotment of a abatement of a assertive affection of communication, one that complex adjournment and anticipation, anticipation and reflection. Opening these cards, the achievement wasn’t aloof in the Accord on Earth greeting, but in the acceptance that a abroad acquaintance or about you hadn’t heard from in a year was still cerebration about you, and maybe administration account about above contest of the accomplished 12 months.
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We apperceive anniversary added so able-bodied now, conceivably too well. And yet, all the time logged into our computers has additionally taken us abroad from our aing and dearest. Who can say they spent as abundant time attractive into the eyes of family, accompany and neighbors as into the bright buzz or laptop awning aftermost year? This season, in lieu of sending cards, my winter anniversary greeting at the end of 2012 will be this: afterwards announcement the binding melancholia wishes online on Christmas Eve, I will be beat off the cyberbanking messaging services, and aggravating to affix in being with my friends, neighbors and ancestors associates for a change.
And adulatory them anniversary accord and joy in the year to come, of course.
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