i am a great pen pal. i received countless letters (back in the day) that were written in big loopy letters, consisting of "hi, how are you, i am fine, what are you up to?" and would dutifully reply with an excess of information that would then elicit; "i love getting letters from you/they're the best (longest)". i was always frustrated that the reciprocity factor was nil; i tried to role model for them.
the influx of stiff envelopes has commenced. seeing your name on an envelope is infinitley more exciting than "27 new messages" in your inbox, particularly as 83% of these will be deleted unless i decide i want 'hot chicks to pay [my] mortgage or enlarge [my] penis size'. e-cards are tedious (if you can even open them), fun cards that thousands of other people have bought and sent, or the norman rockwell family photo wishing me 'happy holidays' are what paper cutting yourself on envelopes is all about. someday i will (not) send a card depicting the glowing images of me in red velvet/husband in green turtleneck/infant with deer in headlights expression wearing a tartan onesie.
my cards have long been sent (still no kwanzaa): now i wait and see who replies, or was already on top of their game. i cannot send just a hand written "have a merry xmas", habit requires a mini tome delineating my travel plans, present shopping update, and generalized holiday angst. friends and family are pleased, for once they don't have to decipher my typos.