{28/01/2013}   Sending cards

I send birthday and Christmas cards to friends and would (and do) feel awful if I don’t (or I forget).  I know a few people who don’t send cards and I have very mixed feelings about this as a rule of thumb.  On the one hand I am resentful of the greeting card industry for forcing on me the notion that you send cards for all occasions, from get well soon to celebrating divorces, along with the more conventional cards.  But on the other hand, with some people, particularly those I rarely see, it is a way of touching base and connecting with them.

I have a few friends who don’t send cards for birthdays or Christmas and they are quite open about this.  I then never know whether to send them cards or not, knowing there’s no way they’ll reciprocate.  Up until now I have sent them cards because that’s what I like to do and it plays on my mind if I don’t.  Silly really but that’s how it is.  Maybe I’ll continue to send them birthday cards but not Christmas cards.  There, that’s a compromise.

In terms of the cost of cards, I baulk at paying over £2 for a card, but increasingly cards seem to cost over £2.  I feel I’ve got a bit clever to all this and now often buy boxes of pretty/arty/nice cards to use as birthday cards.  I have even made a few, though they are of questionable quality as a rule!  Then there is postage.  It costs 50p to send a card 2nd class and 60p first class.  In my more organised years (ie from last year!), I am usually ahead where cards are concerned and usually send them second class.  But, really, it’s just a card.  Which is why I endeavour to write letters with cards, though with my cunning early sending of cards, I now realise that most friends seem to save their cards to open on their birthday, as indeed I do, so letters end up being a bit out of date.  That said, I’m pretty sure it’s always nice to receive a letter with a birthday card and it’s better to be an early letter out of date than a hurried letter arriving after the event.

But where do you draw the line?  I sometimes send cards of sympathy to good friends after a death of a close family member/friend/partner and I sometimes (usually) send new baby cards.  I’ve even been known to send the odd thank you card.  I despise Valentine’s Day and its commerciality and artificiality but sometimes it’s nice to receive a Valentine’s Card from a loved one (better from a gorgeous hunk of an admirer – does that happen?!) in which they write you a personalised message.  But that said, I’d far rather get a love note (or whatever you want to call it!) for no particular reason not on a day deemed by the greeting card industry to be the day you have to buy one of their cards for.

Every year for the past I don’t know how many years I have contemplated sending no Christmas cards but as soon as December gets going, I feel the twitch to write and send cards and I always do.  I write letters or fill at least the blank card space when I send Christmas cards and this really is sometimes a bit of an annual (well, the same for birthdays too, for friends I don’t see regularly) catch up.  And I am pretty sure I will continue to send Christmas and birthday cards until I am too frail to write.


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