The Sceptic Blog

Random thoughts of a random chappy

Electronic Christmas Cards – Missing the Point

with one comment

1.  As an orthodox Jew it is always comforting to see that most religions get most things wrong in most of the same ways.

2.  For the past few years on the Jewish festival of Purim the pleasing law of exchanging small edible gifts has been eroded by the advent of a crop of smug little cards, saying things along the lines of “We think there is too much waste involved in giving mishloach monos – so we have given charity on your behalf instead.”

3.  It is wonderful to give charity.  But it is not the point of Purim gifts.  The point of them is to show that before tucking into my own delightful Purim meal I have thought about what my friends and family will have for theirs.  I also have to think about those without enough to eat at all – and there is an entirely separate duty of giving money to charity on Purim itself.  It is not about spending lots of money on food that will be wasted (so the Talmud states that in some cases exchanging meals is the best answer): but it is about thinking of my friends and translating my thoughts into actions that will enhance their pleasure and comfort.

4.  Christmas cards used to have the same idea.  As I wandered among my colleagues’ offices I would see piles of cards, showing that people were thinking of each other at this time of year and translating that into action: now I see far fewer – they have been largely replaced by smug little electronic messages which swamp the ether along the lines of “We are saving the planet by not sending out any Christmas cards this year”.

5.  There is no point in having a planet at all if we are going to make it as miserable and devoid of comfort as possible.  Christmas cards are important.  They translate thoughts into action and show people with whom we may have little contact the rest of the year that they matter to us enough not merely to add them to a copy list of a row of smug electronic dots, but enough to take a card, find a picture they will appreciate, write a message that will brighten their day, and go along to the Post Office to send it.

6.  Religions of the world: unite against the depersonalisation of human relationships!


Written by Daniel Greenberg

December 19, 2007 at 10:30 am

One Response

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  1. i would have to make more christmas cards becuase next month is december already ,~`

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