Wednesday, 23 December 2009

Are Christmas Cards Just a Con?

Why do we send Christmas cards?

Well in days of yore [before I was born] Christmas cards were sent to people we didn’t see very often, to remind them that we were thinking of them at this special time.

I’m not particularly mean, but I’m beginning - yes, it’s an age thing - to see that we’ve been duped by the card makers and retailers into going through this boring and not inexpensive ritual every year. There’s always some greedy sods who jump on the bandwagon, making us believe that we must send a Christmas card to everyone and their dog/cat/budgie/etc.

We send ‘special’ cards to family and close friends - er, why? If they’re that close we probably see them on a weekly basis so we can tell them that we ‘Wish them a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year’. There’s a brilliant invention called a t-e-l-e-p-h-o-n-e that we can use to tell other people.

We also live in an age where we can send electronic greetings over t’interweb. There a plenty of free websites to send them from for the more Scrooge-y amongst us, but even if we were to pay to join a website to send high class, advert free greetings -

  1. it’s still cheaper than the post.
  2. we’re saving trees.
  3. you can look at them whenever you want without clutter.
  4. you always know where you put them - er, maybe not.
  5. you can send the same e-card to everyone you know – a boon to the terminally idle.
  6. it’s a good idea.

If the mood takes us we can also include in our Christmas message that the money we haven't wasted by not sending actual, physical cards we’ll donate to charity - or we can even tell the truth and say that we'll drink a toast to the recipients with the money we save.

“Well Christmas cards are nice and I like them” you may say - So save this years cards with the decorations and put them back up next year. “Well I like to receive them” - ok, it’s not compulsory to do what I say, it’s just an idea.

I’m not suggesting that we completely stop sending cards, I just mean the stupid ritual of muttering and moaning whilst writing them when we're going to give them to someone we see regularly - it’s a waste of money, time, ink and trees. AND this is coming from someone who until recently made brilliant cards and sent them through the post until the post office started charging more for fat cards!

Yes, by all means send a [flat] card to distant friends and relatives who are technically challenged, and again DEFINITELY send a card to someone who would otherwise feel forgotten because they’re on their own.

Of course, being completely honest now, I don't actually write any cards myself because my handwriting is atrocious, the grumpy old man does them - often looking like he's sucking on a lemon, so distasteful is the job, whilst I wrap and titivate all the presents. We send approximately 60 cards, very often to people we don't even like, so tell me - ‘What is the point?’

The GOM has just popped in and requested permission for leave of absence to toddle off tomorrow to collect yet more cards that have been left for us at so and so's. I granted the permission as I didn't require his presence, but only on the understanding that he actually wants to visit the person he's collecting them from as otherwise it's a complete waste of petrol. Plus it's not a good idea going out unnecessarily to risk life and limb in this weather and traffic on Christmas Eve.

I’m going to sit here now and renew my membership at the ‘Jacquie Lawson’ website and send e-cards next year, I can sit for hours watching Chudleigh playing in the snow. I’ll give my friends and family plenty of warning that we don’t want any Christmas cards because we’re not sending any and we’ll see what happens, hmm. Tune in this time next year - what's betting I'll have forgotten all about it and start stocking up on cards in the middle of August.

Oh look, it's snowing again - all over Heanor Haulage's cranes and crap in their back yard - in the glow of their security lights it looks almost lovely and quite 'Christmas Card-y'. I think I'll take a photo of it and use it for next years decoupage Christmas cards [yeh, right] - oh bugger! I'm a lost cause …

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