I love Christmas. I live in Thailand. It’s a Buddhist country and even the Muslims outnumber Christians in my community. Every year, the build-up to New Year’s Eve seems a bit more Christmasy – lights are strung on some buildings (usually bars), decorated trees appear in the big shopping malls and restaurants in tourist areas offer fair facsimiles of a proper turkey dinner. It’s Christmas for the fun without any thought to the religious aspects. All of that suits me just fine.
But there is one major holiday “tradition” that I miss dearly: finding my mailbox stuffed with Christmas cards, preferably decorated with beautiful seasonal stamps. Every year, I can count on just ONE. My sister invariably sends me a photo card of her staff at work which I always enjoy… but (sorry, Marilyn) the outside is always a bit boring: generic white envelope with postage meter. Stamp collectors absolutely hate postage meters!
True, we live in a digital world and most people find it much more convenient to post their holiday greetings on Facebook or email an e-card (two more things philatelists cringe at). We’ve lost not only that great art of letter-writing but also the joy of sitting down to write annual Christmas cards. In the past, this was the ideal opportunity to update all of our friends and family members on our activities of the past twelve months. There is seemingly no need for that when up-to-the-minute status updates can be posted from anywhere at anytime.
But I aim to bring back the tradition of Christmas card sending. At least within the rather small circle of my family.
Christmas cards ARE available in Thailand but they’re rather expensive (all imported goods are). New Year’s cards are much more affordable and they usually feature beautiful Thai handicrafts, images of His Majesty the King, or interesting scenes of the Kingdom. Christmas stamps are non-existent but the annual New Year’s stamps always feature flowers (I think this year’s are a bit ugly). This is what I’m using for this year’s cards and I’ve just started writing them. I will need to start mailing these soon as it’s now just a month until Christmas.
If you would like a card from me this year, please send me an address update via Facebook or email.
I’d also like to receive more Christmas cards than last year (two, to be exact). If you are a reader of this blog and would like to spread a little holiday cheer, please email me for my mailing address. You don’t even have to write anything inside unless you feel so inspired. What matters to me is a nice card, and real stamps on the envelope. If you’d like to receive a card from me in return, include your mailing address in the email. It might arrive in January or February, but it’s a nice way to restore the holiday spirit!
I’ll also post scans of the envelopes (addresses blurred-out) and cards that I receive so stay tuned…