Home > Memories > The Christmas Card Ritual

The Christmas Card Ritual

Some people find Christmas cards a chore but I don’t. They are an opportunity to say hello and best wishes, or some similar sincere message. Colourful cards can brighten up many a living room during the dark days before Christmas. That is my take on cards but I know that others will wheel out words such as chore, pointless, expensive, time consuming and even a  lost opportunity to fund tigers and leopards.

That is not to say that the card ritual is without problems. Take my half-sister; I love her dearly [even though I seldom see her owing to geographical considerations] but she is forever sending us a card with a drawing of a  robin or robins on it. Is it the case that she likes robin cards and thinks we will feel the same way?  Whilst I am always thrilled to spot a robin in our garden  the predictability of the robin card, post marked Stanley, can be a bit monotonous. 

Another dilemma can crop up when suddenly we do not get a card from a couple. Was it postal negligence or a case of being wilfully struck off their list of favoured people? Are they ill?  Was it something I said or did not do? And do I send our card to them anyway? I usually do! I send cards to people because I like them and whether or not they send me one is more often than not irrelevant to me.

Then there is the moody blues problem. It is my family job to deliver cards to the neighbours [defined as anywhere within five hundred yards of our home] but if I am so mentally tired that I do not want to engage in conversation the delivering might well be done in the dark. But what if it’s snowing or raining? What if I disturb a pet dog or cat and as a result find myself engaged in a conversation,that is not of my making, with the owner? I grin and bear it and give of myself anyway.

Then there is the task of matching people to card design. Some feedback last July suggests that I do not always get it right. Evey year I send a jolly card to an esteemed and lovely religious couple; invariably my card has a drawing of a Victorian stage coach, or perhaps a snow laden village in late afternoon, but neither drawing acknowledges the Christian message. I need to reconsider that problem.

What about timing? Well this year our plan is to post the cards in the second week of December. I do not want to send them too early and be labelled a Christmas nut.

Merry Christmas to you all and best wishes for 2011.


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