Who’s doing it? Who out there is actually still sending Christmas cards, in the good old fashioned way, where you actually pick up a pen, address the card, lick the disgusting envelope, go to the post office, buy a stamp and send it. Hardly anyone, that’s who. But I am. And I am very bitter and twisted about it.
The first recorded example of a Christmas card dates from 1846. Early on this tradition was frequently used as happy means of ending disagreements, repairing broken friendships and strengthening neighbourly ties. Now that’s done via text message. Swag right? LOL.
Today Christmas cards are hugely expensive and terribly time consuming.
Months in advance I wrangle my 5 children into the same place, at the same time, and attempt to capture a moment where no one is actually murdering the other. Which is tricky.
Then you need to find the time to sit down, with the cards, and write them out. Which is a sweet idea in itself. Sitting down quietly with spare time on your hands.
Then you go through your address book. And decide who is on the list and WHO IS NOT (that bit is quite fun)
The address book is a rollercoaster. Fasten your seat belts. Coming across the name of a babysitter long gone, today with family of her own, painfully reminds you how time is flying or reading the names of many friends now divorced and who rather inconveniently can no longer share a card, or seeing the address of a truly beloved Uncle, who died several years ago, but you could not bear to scribble out his name, flashing it from something to nothing.
But despite the expense, and the time, I grumble on. Because I believe this is my way of conveying my families Christmas spirit, as short lived as that might be, arriving just before Christmas until twelfth night, when according to tradition the cards are cleared away, generally into oblivion. But for that brief time my families message of love and peace and happiness lingers in the homes of those we care about. And not just on a screen.