Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Christmas spirit arrives digitally

This year the feeling of Christmas has been hard to achieve. But on Monday, suddenly, my daughter calls me. "Mom, did your present to your sister get lost?" "My what?" I respond, because I really wasn't thinking about Christmas presents. "It's on the internet, a present for her from you and dad." On the internet? WTF!?! What does the internet have to do with my presents? "A friend just mailed me," the girl continues, "she says that there's a list at posten.no, over lost presents at mail offices, and this one is in Bergen."

So online I go, hurriedly, ignoring my husband's demands to hear what's up, and yes, there it is:

Ikke typisk julegaveinnpakking, blekblått papir med mørkere tegninger av blader ca 12x9cm og ca 2cm tykk gave.Til/fra lappen er hjemmelaget i turkis papir, pyntet med gullfarget sløyfe i stoff.Kloke ord på innsiden av gavelappen

That's definitely my present to my younger sister, and it's fallen out of the envelope I had packed their presents in, at some mail office in Bergen. And so I hit the "send us a tip" button hard, hoping there's somebody at the other end to receive the message about the correct address. But then I start reading about all the other presents, and there's this image before my inner eye, of presents spilling out of bags and boxes, falling out of envelopes, condemned to an unsure fate at the mail offices all over Norway.

However, using the internet, the Norwegian mail has finally found a very sensible, loving use of the net and the social media. Somebody sits down and registers each present, and then you can look through the list, and if you see something you think you know you can tip the mail office, tip the person you think it's for or from, or just spread the message through facebook or twitter. "They sent you a present after all." There's a box of perfume. There's a soft present in star-splattered paper with a self-made snow-ball tag on it. There's something that looks like a book in blue and gold paper, from Maria to Elena. It's at the mail-office, and if you know Maria or Elena, you can help them and make sure their message reaches the destination. I love you. I care about you. I remember you. I took the trouble to find something for you, wrap it and send it, and I really hope it reaches you. And if the traditional channels are not good enough, I really hope somebody helps my message along, because I care, I do.

Merry Christmas!

Update: the mail office didn't register the "tips oss" tip, so I called them. After a few minutes I received a call back from a lady who was not at work at the moment, but she was willing to ask her husband, who also worked at the Norwegian mail, to find the present tonight, when he went to work, to make sure to deliver it. Talk about service and friendliness!

1 comment:

Klepsacovic said...

That's really heartwarming.