These days, the only time I take pen to paper, apart from work of course, is when I write cards. Sometimes, however, it's easier to send an email or text message, or follow the Facebook prompt to wish someone 'Happy Birthday'.
Even writing cards is no guarantee that they will be posted. Often I find a grubby, creased, and very out of date card lurking in the depths of my handbag, the occasion for its sentiments long past.
This, of course, is a sad state of affairs. There is no romance, no sentiment, to sending emails or text messages. It's too automatic, too businesslike. And most likely the greeting will end up deleted.
I've seen it suggested that it's not 'green' to send real Christmas cards but I think sending cards is a small price to may for something which can form part of our family history for future generations to appreciate.
There's nothing to cherish with a virtual message. No picture to linger over, no rich paper to touch, no greeting to memorise, no handwriting to admire.
And what history of the little celebrations in our lives will we have if we don't send cards?
Some may think Christmas cards terribly outdated in this day and age of instant messaging but I like the tradition of sitting down, thinking of a friend, selecting a card, and writing a message. Maybe it's just a short greeting, wishing them a Happy Christmas and all the best in the new year, but it's a sign that you have thought enough of them to make that effort. Even better if there's a short letter and a few family snapshots included.
Every year, I keep one or two cards which I particularly like. Maybe I fear the sender won't be around in future, which sadly happened this year, or maybe I just liked the picture. Either way I am building a collection of memories for years to come.