Aeons ago, back when all we had to communicate with was paper and pen (remember those days children? Oh, no, I guess you don’t) middleagedad and I used to dread doing Christmas cards. Even though we didn’t send that many as a fledgling couple, we still used to begrudge the time it took to wish others well.
So middleagedad invented a new strategy around Christmas cards to make it more fun. He decided we’d keep all the cards we got and send them back to the well wisher the next Christmas, with a cheery festive note from us -and the date- with instructions to keep the card and send it back to us the following year.
Mad as it sounds, everyone loved it and for years, cards went back and forth between our parents, our family and friends and even random people we’d met on holiday and made the mistake of sending us a card.
Each year we’d add a small note about how we were and what we’d been up to, a bit like a tweet-sized round robin letter and then next year so would the recipients when they sent the card back to us. And so it went on, for decades. Each card ended up as a mini life-history of friends and family, recording babies births, promotions, marriages, holidays and general goings-on. When one battered card filled up with hand writing, new ones were stapled or Sellotaped on to increase the space and some ended up the size of small novels.
It meant Christmas card writing became much more enjoyable as you opened up last years cards (having -crucial one- remembered where you’d stored them), and re read the year’s cheery happenings and/or disasters. Unlike the dreaded round robin letter, the notes were kept short, witty or just plain daft. Thirty years later, these handwritten cards are treasures, like snapshots of a life, sometimes featuring the words of people who are no longer with us and are dreadfully missed.
Over time, somehow family life and the internet got in the way and we stopped doing it and Christmas card writing has never been as much fun since.
The key is to find a really good card to start you off, one that will withstand being looked at for Christmas after Christmas. I’m using Cath Tate Cards because they make me roar with laughter. Also because the nice people at Cath Tate sent me a bundle of them to view and I am still giggling as I go through them now, writing this post. A card without a joke on the front is just not worth the effort IMO, and Cath Tate does the funniest. Receiving the bundle reminded me of our family ritual and I am motivated to start it up again.
So good luck writing your cards this year, last postings for the UK, BTW are Saturday 19th December (2nd class) and Monday 21st December (1st class).
As a special treat, Cath Tate Cards are offering TWR readers a special 15% discount off their range, from today until Christmas Day, just quote WOMENSROOM at checkout, but don’t blame us if you waste an entire morning on the website reading the jokes. I’ve had so much fun reading my bundle (£22.50 for a selection of 12) I reckon a pile of them would make an excellent present too.