News, Culture & Society

Is it just me? Or have you stopped sending cards too? 

Hands up, I admit it, I am the Christmas Card Grinch. After long dutiful years we stopped sending them a couple of years ago.

We still get them, some from faraway friends. But no longer is there a stack of cheerful charity cards in the kitchen and a rambling search through old notebooks for addresses.

We hope nobody is offended, send invisible vibes of goodwill and accept the prick of guilt. But we can’t face it.

Libby Purves questions if anyone else has stopped sending Christmas cards (file image)

For years we did it. At least I did. My husband, I suspect like most men, told me that before we met he would send two — one to his mother and one to his agent, job done. Soon I had to do both of those, too

So year after year the list increased — 100, 200 — real friends and passing ones, old colleagues, even neighbours and family we would see over Christmas. After a while we persuaded them that we could hug them instead. A few kept on carding, filling us with shame.

We cannot be the only house where the arrival of the first glittery robin was met with a scream of terror. ‘It’s begun!’

They would pile up, and the guilt with them.

Often we couldn’t decipher the scrawled names. To prevent inflicting this misery on anyone else we bought rolls of address-stickers and put them on the ones we sent out.

Once the first lot were sent off, there came the tense business of getting ones from people we’d forgotten and shooting back spare cards in return.

But then, one year, we stopped. Yes, we feel guilty. Yes, we still love you all, friends, acquaintances, contacts, current and former colleagues. We apologise. We will email. Don’t hate us. Despise us as weaklings, that’s only fair.

But goodness, December is a mellower month these days.