By Jack Hsu
Apostolic Nunciature Charge d'Affaires Monsignor Ambrose Madtha said that the meaningful Christmas gifts that he has given and received have been handwritten Christmas cards to and from friends, family, peers such as bishops from all over world, and people who have met and known him.
Christmas is a time to show love to the people around. However, Christmas is becoming too highly commercialized, the representative of the Vatican in Taiwan lamented. Advertisements about Christmas shopping, parties, dinners, and gifts of all kinds are grabbing attention everywhere. Christmas celebration for children becomes associated with Santa Claus, and adults go shopping or spending money till they drop at this time of the year.
"I always handwrite Christmas cards to people, and I like to receive handwritten Christmas cards, too," revealed this man of God. "December is my busiest month because I have to write about 300 Christmas cards for mailing by regular post. For me, Christmas cards are a most meaningful gift because they emote feelings and convey love.".
When reminded about the growing popularity of e-cards, Madtha still insisted in handwriting Christmas greetings and messages. Although e-cards appear to be more convenient to send out, they are not as personal, said Madtha. Receivers do not feel the personal touch of the senders.
As for managing the content of each of the 300 cards he has to send out, Madtha honestly pointed out that he writes more if the individual who is to receive it is a close associate. Those who have little contact with him, he usually writes a short blessing and greeting. Remembering them all is what counts. The recipients feel happy because they know that they are not being forgotten despite the little contact.
By Jack Hsu