At this time of year it is traditional to receive christmas cards from people with whom you may have only infrequent, if any, contact on a normal daily basis. If you are in a relationship, these cards will often be addressed to you as a couple or family, and be signed on behalf of other couples or families. In my case, on opening such cards I often then end up shouting out something like, “Darling, who the hell are Sarah and Jimmy?” and “Did we send them a card?” (as if it mattered.)
In my view, this problem has become exacerbated by the rise of the e-card (an email substitute for those too idle, or too penny pinching, to even go to the trouble of sending actual cards through the real postal system). Maybe I’m becoming more reactionary in my old age (it happens) but e-cards are, in my view, even worse than e-books.
Strange as it may sound, most people I know use their christmas cards as decorative features by hanging them on string around doorways, or placing them on the mantle over the fireplace alongside the christmas tree. What am I supposed to do with a bloody flash animation of a kitten playing with a bauble?
Worse, these e-cards do not usually even come direct from the sender’s (known) email address but via the commercial creator’s website. This means that the email runs the risk of being treated as spam and thus not reaching the intended destination. Or, again, in my case, if they do actually reach their destination and I see an email from some unknown sender with the message “Sarah and Jimmy have sent you the attached e-card in support of save the vegetarian whales. Click here to see it”, it goes straight into the deleted pile unopened.
Hah! Take that! You aren’t going to engineer me into installing your damned trojan.