Christmas cards not dead, yet

2011-12-22 00:00

THERE’S a Mr Bean episode in which Bean celebrates Christmas on his own and to conquer the loneliness of the holidays, he posts himself Christmas cards and hangs them proudly on a string across his mantlepiece because those cards made him feel special and perhaps “loved”.

With today’s advanced technology, cards seem to be more of a hassle when compared to e-mailing, smsing, Facebooking or sending season’s greetings via other forms of cheap and instant messaging, leaving Postman Pat on the overdraft list.

“Cards are for keeps,” said Anila Sewlall, a spokesperson from the Msunduzi Hospice.

“You’ve probably seen your grandmother with a box full of cards, and I think that is why cards are doing really well despite modern technology. In the last year, Christmas card sales haven’t dropped, generally sales have slowed down in the last two or three years, but our sales have been good.”

Hospice sells reconditioned cards in which the photos of previously used cards are cut and stuck onto their own little cards. Sewlall said the Hospice has made about R5 000 on Christmas card sales in the last year at R7 for a pack of five cards.

The SPCA also had success in Christmas card sales.

“We had ordered 500 packets with five cards each and were sold out a couple of weeks ago.

“We still have people coming in requesting them,” said Maureen Vida, the SPCA public relations officer.

Vida said there was also a dip in sale around three years ago, but claims that sales are picking up again.

“I think people are over the Internet now it’s too impersonal and there is no real effort put into emailing or smsing someone. I think people want something more meaningful,” Vida said.

Joshila Manoor, manager of Birthdays in Liberty Midlands Mall, said the average sales on Christmas cards are not as good as they should have been.

Manoor said: “I think that people still go with cards, however, it’s more the older generation. We get many people from retirement homes that come looking for cards.

“Younger children often buy cards for their parents, but it’s not as often.”

Vida shared the same sentiments and said most of the sales were to the older generation and usually for friends and family who are residing overseas.

However, Sewlall believes that cards are still popular among all ages.

“It’s not only the more mature people who are buying Christmas cards.

“Lots of people like to write a story in their cards. For many, Christmas is the only time that many people communicate and cards are special, they give you that space to say everything that you need to.”

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