It’s that time of year again. Yep. It’s time for the spate of “humorous” articles and blog posts bagging out the Christmas card ‘newsletter’.
Whoa! Where’d everyone get the sarcasm pills? Where’s the Christmas spirit peoples?
You know, there’s a lot that I think is hideous, overboard, and pretty much unbearable about Christmas time, but, one of the few redeeming features of this time of year for me is when I get a Christmas card that has some news in it!
OK, sure, you get the painful ones, but for me they are more than compensated for by the news from people that I enjoy hearing from each year. I’d rather put up with a couple of shockers than get no news at all. What’s the alternative? Exchanging a few bits of decorated cardboard with our names on them? To Tracey and family. From Fred, Martha and family. What’s the point? Now that is a waste of trees, and a waste of postage money. Never mind the carbon footprint.
I’m getting old enough now to have accumulated friends through life that I can’t possibly keep up with during the year. Life is getting busier and busier, people live all over the country – all over the world. Sure, a personal letter or email or phone call during the year would be ideal, but face it, it doesn’t happen. The days, weeks, and months slip by, and next thing you know it’s bloody Christmas again.
Should I ditch all those old friends from my life? There are those that gradually slip from contact completely, but there are more that I do still care to hear from, and to know more than just that they are alive and capable of shelling out for a pack of cheap cards, and postage stamps.
So I try to lead by example.
I once tried to write out a bit of news in every card I sent, but it was getting to the stage where I’d seriously have to think about starting in February in order to finish them. So, begrudgingly I drafted the core of a newsy letter, and then personalised each one with a different paragraph at the beginning and end before printing them off.
Time again became the enemy, and so I resigned myself to joining the hated ranks of ‘those’ newsletter people.
For the record I always preface mine with something along the lines of ‘Hope to hear what YOU’VE been up to!’ Which I mean wholeheartedly. And I try to write with a healthy dose of self deprecation and humour. I know not everyone is capable of pulling that off, although I have one very witty friend, whose missive I look forward to every year, and I am disappointed if he doesn’t find the time.
In recent years, the technology of the internet has meant that some of us can even save a few trees, and minimise the carbon footprint and all that. I’ve been doing a web page for a few years, and sending the link, either by email or card, to those that I think might care about what we’ve been up to. According to that article I linked to earlier, even that is abhorrent. What the? I reckon it’s win-win. If they’re not interested, they can just not bother at all. Where’s the downside?
Despite not being a particularly Christmassy person, I do try to use the theme of this time of year to try and look back on the positives, because I sure as hell do my share of complaining about my family during the year!
And really, when you think about it that is all that others are doing in their newsletters when they focus on the good things.
Given I’m always being told that Christmas is really about Jesus and all that, I’m not at all sure that being jealous and envious of others is what it’s all supposed to be about.
Yeah, I know. Realistically, I know that there are people in life who piss you off. (Maybe you only realise that when you get their annual Christmas news?) I don’t know whether it’s particularly Christian or charitable, but I figure, if you don’t want to hear from them, drop them from your Christmas card list. Sooner or later they’ll get the message and write you off as well.
Works for me.