Wednesday, 18 December 2013

The 'Bring Back Christmas Cards' Campaign

As a teenager I thought my mother's annual Christmas card writing sessions were insane.


It seemed to me that a whole lot of energy was invested in writing basically the same stuff many many times over to a whole bunch of people you hardly ever see and therefore can hardly care anyhow about you or what you've got to say.  It was, in effect, an activity akin to the sort of 'writing lines' type of punishment doled out at school.

That said, my mother, who in all other activities in life was a big one for efficiency, did not believe in the typewritten 'newsletter' style of Christmas card writing.  Quite early on in life I knew the only response to a printed Christmas letter was to sneer.  That person had not put the blood, sweat and tears into the activity that my mum had.

She believed in handwritten, crafted, personalised letters, tailored to the individual.  And she knew a lot of individuals. It was a marathon, physical effort she put in, huffing and sighing over the cards, pausing from time to time to shake her weary, cramping hand throughout the exercise.

This year I have done the thing that every daughter fears.  I have become my mother.

But (valiantly trying to rescue myself from this admission and move us all along to another thought...tra la laaa...this way please) actually I believe the act of Christmas card 'giving and receiving' is becoming something of a dying art in our generation.  We're all 'elfing ourselves' at best or sending Merry Christmas texts and emails.  It's not even as though eCards have successfully taken over where Hallmark left off, and let's be honest, they're not so easy (or as nice) to put up on a bit of string around the sitting room.

So this year I decided to write Christmas cards because after we've all got over reviving vinyl and mixed tapes, I reckon Christmas cards are set to become the next retro 'must have' in everyones lives.

And actually it's been a revelation.  Firstly I've had to perform something of a 'data cleanse' as 30 - 40% of my address book is, at best, names and mobile phone numbers.  Secondly it turns out that it's really nice to write to people I haven't necessarily seen all year.  Like most people, most years, I've had a pretty mad one this year and haven't managed to move much out of the village that is Bristol to see people, or to generally stay in touch with folks as much as I would've liked.

Initially I intended to just dash off a 'To [insert name] [Insert greeting already published in card] Hope you have a super Christmas and New Year, much love...'.  Job done.  But I rapidly found myself writing a few more lines. And then, before I knew it, I was filling up most of the cards with writing. On both sides of the card!

It may have been noted that I huffed a bit and sighed slightly over the card writing.  I may even, from time to time, have stopped to shake my weary, cramping hand.

But reader, I enjoyed it, and I have every intention to do it again next year, to even more people, even if I don't get cards back because eventually everyone will get back on the Christmas-card-writing bandwagon I am sure...

Yes, you may now leave this blog and go 'elf yourself' (*argh, more mumisms...Help! Help!).

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