Thursday, 15 December 2016

House of cards...

Is it just me, or does anyone else out there have an irrational anger towards Christmas cards?

I used to send them out religiously with lists of recipients and a pre-printed label template already set up with a festive sprig of holly in each corner.  In each card, I would address it to the recipient, write a short greeting (never the same one twice) and finish it with a flourish of a signature.  It never worried me if I didn't get one back, I simply enjoyed the sending bit.

And then I had kids...

This is where it all started to get rather challenging. Before the kids appeared, I was quite content to write 'To Steve, Janet, George and Becky'... (this is a made up family before you start asking who they are) because it was just my name at the bottom of the card.  Then as the husband and the kids came along, card writing started to become rather arduous.  It soon became obvious that referring to the six of us as 'The Tribe' wasn't sufficient, as I was reminded each time I opened a card, beautifully and thoughtfully addressed to me, the husband and the four children (in age descending order).  I also tried writing mine and the husband's names, followed by 'et al', thinking that this might be more acceptable as it was Latin...no chance.

And then there are the dogs.  As we are a dog-loving nation, naturally we include our beloved fur babies in the Christmas cards also.  So not only do you have to remember your friends' children's names (most of which you have never seen) you also have to know their dogs' names.  Woe betide the Christmas card sender who forgets the newest addition to the family - whether that be two-legged or four.

I suppose I did the cards properly for about four years after the kids came along.  As each November came round, I would set aside several evenings to write them, sitting in the lounge and saying to the husband every now and again things like  'What, they've had another one?'  The relief when I posted them all out was palpable.  I would thrust them into the post box with a snarl, and vow that next year, I wouldn't bother.

I reached a zenith about ten years ago, when I was making Christmas cakes and puddings for a living.  By the time it got to Christmas, I was completely tinselled out after hawking my wares around Christmas Fair after Christmas Fair.  Cards were way down the list of things to do.  I think that particular year I only ordered the turkey on Christmas Eve, and I had sold our Christmas cake, so had to bake one from scratch forty eight hours before we wanted to eat it.  Unforgiveable, as we all know that a cake needs feeding copious amounts of brandy to be best enjoyed.  Bit like myself...

So I started telling people that I only sent them every other year - that worked for a while until friends started asking whether I'd forgotten to send them a card, as surely this was the year I sent them...

So I am coming clean...

I send no cards.  What I do is choose a charity close to my heart and send them the money I'd spend on cards.  This year it's Schnauzerfest.

http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/fundraiser-web/fundraiser/showFundraiserProfilePage.action?userUrl=Schnauzerfest2017&isTeam=true

The money raised gives ex puppy-farm schnauzers the opportunity to give and receive love freely.

And isn't that what Christmas is all about? 

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