If you have to ask you'll never know ! [L.Armstrong]... thats Louis not Lance.

Dec 21, 2007

There's an Old Christmas e-mail !

In far away Mississauga they wait for the first snow to herald the oncoming of the Christmas season. In Bandra we wait for the first Christmas card. The postmen would gear up for the extra load. The post office would issue press statements asking you to post your cards early. To bear with them if the delivery of your cards was late. There were Papal postal seals issued specially for Christmas with which you sealed your envelopes. In school for the last art class before the Christms holidays we had to draw a Christmas card. The postman would deliver your mail to the door. Personal mailboxes were for Americans. The postmans Christmas baksheesh depended on this. The foreign stamps would be steamed of the envelope to put into your stamp album. Duplicates were put aside for day trading. The cards brought with them pictures of snowmen and stables, reindeer and wisemen, sometimes pictures of distant cousins of whom this annual picture was all you ever saw of. Handmade cards from those who thought themselves artists. Nativity scenes with Mother mary in a saree for the local touch. All the cards would be strung up from special card holders. Streaming down one corner of the room. Or spanning the doorway from living room to kitchen. Or placed upright on the piano. You always had a few blank cards to spare. To reply to the card that came in from somebody you had'nt sent a card to. The musical cards would tingle Jingle bells when you opened them. We looked at those , convinced that if the country they came from made this then it couldnt be much more diificult for them to put a man on the moon. The batteries of these cards would be over long before Christmas, thanks to the constant demos of the magical musical cards ability to every visitor including those to the neighbours house who would be brought over to see this marvel of science and technology. [ This was in the pre Made in China days ]. There were 3D cards that would come from Japan. [ I still don't know how they do it ? ] But the cows and donkeys and Baby Jesus in them were as real as real could be. There were fold out cards that had the crib popping out at you as you opened the card. Or Santa taking off out of the card as you unfolded it. The really nice ones we'd use as Cristmas decorations. The average ones we'd cut up for gift tags next year. There would be cards from Aunt's who lived down the road and whom you would see at midnight mass and personally wish.
Then came the global village and the world wide web. The postmans bag gets lighter every year. His baksheesh demands are half hearted. The telegram wallah has thrown in the towel and does'nt even come around anymore. And Gentleman Jim is going to be singing
' There's an Old Christmas e-mail ...'

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