There's an old Christmas card in an old dusty trunk
And it brings back sweet memories dear to me.
Tho' it's faded and worn, it's as precious as the morn
When I found it beneath our first Christmas tree.
I thrill with every word, every line.
Guess I'm always sentimental around this time.
Pardon me if a tear falls among my Christmas cheer.
It's the memory of an old Christmas card.
Thus goes a song by Jim Reeves.
With Christmas at hand, it's time to send the season's greetings to family and friends. But sadly, the young generation seems to be drowned in internet technology, as many have forgotten the value of real cards - forget about unraveling memories reading old Christmas cards.
"I used to receive lots of Christmas cards in the past, but I didn't receive any this year," says 23-year-old Nitsi Clare.
"I neither received Christmas card nor sent any this year," adds her friend Leena Prouveinai. Sunil Noronha is also one of the youngsters who have not received any card this year.
There are lots of young people like Clare, Leena and Sunil who have either forgotten Christmas cards or have chosen easy way out by logging into computers or reaching out for their cell phones.
Of course, there are people who still value greeting cards and continue to send them to their loved ones during this season of love and hope. For them, no amount of calls or e-cards can bring the pleasure of receiving a special card.
"I send lots of Christmas cards during this season, and this year is no exception. I have sent 20 letters and about 13 Christmas cards to my dear ones at home but I haven't received any till now," laments Anne Daiho, Service Delivery Manager, IBM. "I think the new generation has taken comfort in easy life with all the available technology. Poor thing," she adds.
"I have sent lots of Christmas cards to people dear to me but I have received only six cards so far. There were days when I used to get more than 100 Christmas cards during this festive season. Gone are those days. Now, it's just countable with fingers," complains 28-year-old Renin Raj, an online product marketing specialist, adding, "I hate e-cards. I want real cards personally written. Young generation has completely forgotten the real warmth of cards. Now it's all virtual."
Major gift stores admitted that sales of Christmas cards have gone down relatively over the years with today's youngsters lost in virtual world.
"The sales of Christmas cards may have relatively gone down over the years but people still buy cards. The demand for it is still there though the present generation seems to not value greeting cards that much," says Vishal Jain of popular gift store The Gift Hut in Shanthinagar, Bangalore.
Vivek Chandiramani, the owner of Archies Gallery, a popular gift store in Brigade Road, Bangalore, refused to comment when asked if the sales of Christmas cards had taken a dip off late but admitted that the younger generation doesn't seem to know the value of greeting cards.
Well, many may bombard social networking sites, cell phone message inbox and email inbox with e-cards and SMS greetings but nothing can replace real cards that are filled with feelings and emotion.
"People called up and said 'oh I got the card, it was lovely, and thank you' but phone calls cannot take the place of these letters and cards poured out from heart to heart. Real card has something 'real' of the sender - the hand writing and words of the person," says Anne Daiho.
Vivek Chandiramani said e-cards can never replace real cards. "Virtual cards like e-cards can't be compared to real greeting cards for the simple reason that people forget e-cards after reading it and there is no feel to it. If one wants to personalise wishes and greetings, it can be done only through real cards. So, seasonal greeting cards like birthday, marriage, Christmas etc will not go out of fashion," he reasoned.