Friday, 7 January 2011

Why Do We Do It?

Sorry if this post is not what you hoped!

Yesterday, sorting through my Christmas cards to see what if anything I needed to reply to (do people send you messages cramped into tiny spaces on your cards, too?) it suddenly made me as myself why we send them.

Is it to let people we never see know we are still here, or maybe to stop them getting in touch by any other means?  Do we send them because we need to let people know we love them and are thinking about them, and again, does that let us off the hook so we need do no more?

I'd like to believe my reason is pure affection for each and every one I send to, but know that's not true. Like I suspect, most people, I go through my address book(s) and send everyone within the covers a card, then think of all the people locally who are not in the book, followed by people whom I see most days etc.

Having said that, I choose my cards with care and try to send each person one I think they will like (though if the same criteria is used by those who send me cards there must be some strange misconceptions about me out there).

Sorting through the pile - much larger than in previous years - I had 74! - yes, I do count them, so what? the beauty of some of them was really striking, while the utter banality of others mind-boggling.

Some are so pretty I am tempted to keep, won't go down that route again, threw out about 600 a couple of years ago - needed the space.  Recycling is such a misleading expression, in my dreamworld ignorance/innocence I used to believe they were really cut and pasted (in the old-fashioned sense) and sold for re-use.  The reality of all that art work colour glitter and allure being pulped is quite disappointing.

Which has strayed somewhat from the original question.  Why do we send them?
I send them because I think it lets the recipient know that they have been in my thoughts, even if only for a brief moment, and if others do the same, there are a lot of loving thoughts out there in the ether at this time of year.  A good thing surely?


  1. Hi Ray, why do we send them.... I don't send to anyone local, only to people who have meant a lot to us over the years, but we don't live in the same area now, to touch base and catch up on the news, as they respond to my letter that I have included.

  2. I don't send to family - they get both presents and me-in-the-flesh at some point over Christmas. A card seems superfluous, really.

    Half a dozen go to special people.

    The rest are, if I'm honest, sent because I feel I ought to.

    Funny thing - this year I was a bit poorly before Christmas just at the time of the normal card-writing frenzy and not all the standard ones got written. There are a few people on the standard list from whom I have not received a card so obviously, they only send to me if I send to them. They can come off the list next year and cut down on the hypocrisy!

    How much profit accrues to card manufacturers as a direct result of hypocrisy, I wonder?

  3. A good point Doorkeeper, though in my case I have always bought Charity Cards (for at least 40 years anyway) and feel it is a way of donating without necessarily being identified. Not being in the happy position of having family either to descend or upon whom to descend makes card sending at least an on-paper hug for some of my contacts. Hope you are recovered from your pre-Christmas poorlies.