Friday, 7 December 2012


The first two dropped through the letterbox this morning.  I’m so admiring of these people who are organised enough to get their Christmas cards sent a whole four weeks in advance (the smug pillocks), but it does give me issues. 

After some soul-searching last year, and the year before, I chose to continue sending them.  There is sound reasoning behind this not-lightly-taken decision.  For a start, it’s a way of telling them I’m not dead.  (They wouldn’t know otherwise, mostly.)   More importantly, I don’t put up decorations (unless I’m having a party, which I’m not this year (again)), and cards do furnish a room; and you don’t get them if you don’t send them.  Plus it saves on dusting.  But two’s no good, is it?  You need at least a spread-out shelf’s worth.  Maybe a few more’ll drop in tomorrow.

I did some heavy pruning last year.  I chopped people I’d never met and didn’t expect ever to.  I carefully considered those I might have met years ago but who hadn’t personalised theirs (they’re just going through* the motions); and, going to the wire, I suspended those who might or might not send to me but are probably playing the same kind of brinkmanship that I am.  That’s an interesting game, in which you can only tell when you’ve lost, never when you’ve won.  (I lost two last year, by the way.)

Anyway, I went through and updated the address labels this afternoon, and it came to thirty-seven.  Then I opened the bottom drawer in the bureau and found a John Lewis bag with at least forty over-purchased cards from one, two or maybe even three years ago.

So there’s the dilemma.  Do I send those surplus cards, rather than buying a batch of new ones, thereby helping to save the planet but risking ridicule and embarrassment?  Or do I bin them and buy a batch of new ones, thereby impressing my friends and helping to save the economy?

I know my answer, but what do you think?



*This word typed itself as ‘torhough’, who must mean something in gaelic and anyway is too good to throw away.


  1. We could swap our surplus cards!
    I have some left over from the seventies which feature close ups of baubles or candles... Actually they may have originally belonged to my mum - retro/vintage and therefore highly desirable, what do you reckon?

  2. Last year I used up all my left over cards or I'd offer a swap too. And this year I'm using up loads of my own cards, some of which may have been used already for birthdays.
    (Oh and there's a third option. Take the old ones to a charity shop which is good for the planet and er, people in need of charity)

  3. Hang on to them in case you don't get enough and need to "bulk out" your display.

  4. Don't think it would matter a jot. Can people actually tell if they're last years or this years? And would you recall if you received the same card two years running? And more importantly would you mind? Well I'm sure nobody else will either, and if you think they will they don't deserve a card anyway. Save a stamp and put it on your own mantelpiece.

  5. You are criticising people for lack of personalisation then sending yours out with computer labels stuck on the front?

    Just saying...,

  6. Well there are all sorts of options. Liquorice & vanilla.
    Keep the old ones for decorating the downstairs loo with, to keep you merry all the year round.
    Compile an A-list & a B-list (I'm sure you don't have any C-listers) & buy new for the A-list. Then next year you quite reasonably assume the B-listers have taken umbrage & you don't send to them.
    Make your own like our lovely grand-niece Lucy (aged 3) has (look at the back).

    Just so long as I get a pretty one, preferably secular.

    Tor Hough is a Michigan man who races yachts.
    Torhough is the feeling you experience when you have fought your way through the blizzards to the top of a lump of granite on Dartmoor to find someone already there, eating their lunch in your favourite sheltering place.

  7. I do the computer labels too Rog. I regard the packaging as not being part of the Christmas Message but want to make sure it gets there. You think captchas are hard? If you saw my hand-writing you'd understand. In the hand-writing stakes I take after my brother.

  8. Oh no! Encouraged by the fact that it must be past the the smug pillock early Christmas card sender time, I opened my address book to find last year's Christmas stamps! Is this worse?!

  9. I thought from the title that you were pondering whether you'd reached the age to buy a nice warm cardigan.

    In the days when I sent Christmas cards, I used to buy far too many. Once, I was so carried away I bought about three yearsworth - and of course, it's a convenient thing to buy at charity dos, so I kept topping up. They all got used sooner or later.

  10. Good, that's settled then, planet it is. Thank you all so much for giving me the correct advice. A few specific points:

    Scarlet, I'd hang onto those antiques. You'll be able to trade them for cigarettes when we're all living in cardboard boxes.

    The bulking-out idea is appealing, Dinah, but I'd have to write on them, wouldn't I? And then visitors would look and ask me "So, who are these Scott and Zelda people, Tim?"

    Don't worry about the stamps, Zig. As Richard wisely ruled, the outside doesn't count. And it'll give people something different to look at.

    Z, I've been thinking about getting a cardie, actually. So much easier to put on and take off.

  11. It's no good... I CANNOT agree with this outside doesn't count malarkey that Richard has UNwisely ruled.

    Shameless self promotion.

    There, I have re-addressed the balance.


  12. I'm on your side in this. No one will remember which cards you sent last year, and we're already paying fifty pence second class to post them. I'm in pruning mode this year, but oh dear.....who to prune? (should be whom to prune, but that sounds really odd).

  13. Scarlet, you are exempted from that sloppily formulated principle. Is it too late to order my envelopes?
    Frances, I'd dig out my Fowler if it wasn't so late. 'Whom gives a f**k?' doesn't sound right either.
    Actually, having stared at this for ten minutes - "who to prune?" isn't a sentence, as it contains no main verb, therefore ... something or other.

  14. I've started only sending cards to people who send me one first. Because it'd be rude not to...
    In future years I might get even more draconian and send cards by return only if I like the card sent to me..

  15. Macy! Thought you'd disappeared! HAPPY CHRISTMAS!!! (Will that qualify? Otherwise please specify required number of !!s)