Christmas cards are big business. When my sister and I were younger we used to compete to see who would receive the most.
Now I am older though, Christmas cards have got me asking more questions than just ‘How many will I receive’.
Gone are the days of your mum writing out a list of everyone in your class for you to tick off as you write them out. As an adult you have to make your own decisions as to who gets a card. Are you writing them for your work colleagues? And if so, do you blanket everyone or do you just give them to the people you actually like?
I’ve been in my job for a good few years now and when I started I blanket carded everyone on my team, and some of the best people I knew from other teams too. Then to stopped doing the other teams. Then, after a couple of years of seeing my Christmas cards sitting unopened and unloved in people’s intrays in January I started keeping Christmas cards in my bag and would just write them in the morning for the people I knew would be in that day. This year, I don’t even know if I can be bothered to do that. It’s not from a ‘bah-humbug!’ perspective, although it is slightly lazy. I just feel a bit silly giving out cards of people don’t really want them. Do they want them? Are they bothered? I don’t know!
Do I give Christmas cards to my neighbours?
I am a homeowner for the first time this year. Although I am not actually in the home yet. (That’s a story for a different day). So technically speaking I have my own set of neighbours. Am I supposed to send them cards signed ‘From A&B at number blah blah blah?’ I reckon I don’t need to this year as we don’t actually live there but that from next year I probably will. Having said that, we have received one from down the street already do I guess I better reciprocate!
What do you do with the cards once Christmas is over?
I always kept all my cards. But almost 30 years later I have boxes and bags of cards taking up space that I don’t really have. I’ve started trying to get rid of them but I find it quite hard. There’s a guilt there that I don’t fully understand but it’s there nonetheless. It also seems so wasteful, especially the ones that can’t be recycled. I know people say make gift tags out of them. It that’s not always possible, practical or frankly something I want to do.
Are cards a waste of money?
Especially those ones that lie unopened. But is it really worth spending the money on little folded bits of card that will just get thrown out in January? I know people that donate to charity instead of spending money on cards. Or people that just don’t bother at all. No clogging up landfill and no spending hours writing the same message over and over. But also, there’s a nice feeling of having all them all displayed. And some are very pretty, or funny. The ones I like least are just the boring kind. For the last few years I have bought cards in the January sales, but this year I have put them somewhere so safe I don’t know where they are! Oh dear.
I think overall I would rather do cards than not. I just need to get over my guilt of getting rid of them so I don’t end up on that Secret Hoarders programme buried under decades of cards.
What do you think about cards? Are they an essential part of the holiday or a waste of time?