Despite having shit loads of Uni work, I thought I would try and do a series of posts each day about the bahhumbuggness of Christmas to go with my new seasonal background.
Day 4 – Cards
Every year I feel sorry for the postman. Down the lane with no name he comes bumbling. His sack laden with cards. I feel I have to hold my hands up here. I was once a victim of the Christmas card bug, as many long term LJ Flisters will remember. Sending cards was as much a part of getting into the Christmas spirit as drinking mulled wine and munching mince pies.
Every year I would compile a list. I’d check it twice. To find out who was naughty (by not sending me a card the previous year) and who was nice (those that did). I would go into town and spend loads on postage. Then, the year before last it struck me. Who the hell really gives a stuff about me sending cards? It was like I was sending them out of habit. Most of the people on my card list I had no interaction with and frankly I couldn’t give a stuff whether they had a good Christmas or not.
My mum was the same and still is. Every year, about this time, she will spend evening after evening scribbling addresses and filling in cards from a bumper bargain box to send out to people she really had no connection with. Each year I would stand admiring the walls that became increasingly covered with cards.
Stegzy – Who’s Mary McGuire?
Mum – Oh I used to nurse her father (my mum retired from Nursing about 7 years ago)
Stegzy – And who’s Bill and Jill Smith?
Mum – Oh I once sat next to them on the tram back from the Pier Head back in 1953
Stegzy – And what about Sandra and the cats?
Mum – I think she used to be a friend of someone I once sold a raffle ticket to, but I can’t be sure.
It became clear to me that my mum didn’t actually have a clue who half of these people were. But, true to form she would send cards to them every year. I would often try to imagine what it would be like in their house holds
Bill Smith – Eh up, we got another card of that Betty Gnomepants.
Jill Smith – Oh bugger, I thought she’d not bother this year, pass us that box of cheap cards from Oxfam and I’ll write her one up now.
Bill Smith – Who is she again?
Jill Smith – Fucked if I know
So again, like St Paul, I was struck with an astounding revelation. Who gives a stuff if I send them a card? Actually, come to think of it, why do I need to send family a card either? It’s not like anyone would wish someone a miserable arse sucking Christmas is it? So by default, you can assume I wish people a happy and peaceful festive celebration without debt, arguments and cholesterol. Though there are a few people that I would and I imagine they think the same about me. Indeed, there really is no need for me to pay money for bits of gaily coloured card to wish family a happy Christmas when I see them over that period usually anyway. It’s like wishing it again. Which, in my book, is over egging the nog. And so, again, this year, the sending of Christmas cards is not happening for me. Already, people are showing their distaste at me not sending cards by not sending me any. Mrs Gnomepants, the wife from whom I am separated, gets cards on an increasingly daily basis addressed to her, and yet I get nothing addressed to me but bills and threats of stick waving.
Now don’t get me wrong, I get no displeasure from not sending cards. Quite the opposite. I get the warm glow that I am not contributing to my carbon weighting buy using card that is made from recycled paper. I feel safe in the knowledge that the Posties hernia was not caused by my fan mail. Indeed, I am comfortable with the awareness that I wish no ill to people all year round and no ill especially during their festive period. I am however conscious that some people will think of me as a miserable old cunt that is too cheap to send out cards. But far from it. It is not me, but those that gauge their narcissistic popularity by how many cards they receive. Moreover, these same people probably are concerned with how many Facebook friends they have. Well bless their black narcissistic cotton socks.
And so a short cut. For those that think by my not sending cards I am some how snubbing their
special specific day….have a mooch round. See if you can find one of the cards I sent on previous years (What do you mean you’ve recycled them already?! Do you know how much hard work went into making them cards??) and prop it up on your mantelpiece, desk or wherever and pretend I’ve sent you it again. Of course, there are those who may have already disposed of the card I sent all those years back and there are those who I have never sent a card to. So to get round this, let’s come to a compromise. I’ll dig out an unused card. I’ll write “Happy Christmas With Love from **insert your name here**” and prop it up on my mantlepiece and I’ll pretend it was sent by you to me. If….now here’s the biggy….YOU WILL DO THE SAME FOR ME. Then, come January when I’m chucking stuff out, I’ll box that card up, and I’ll fish it out again next year. Unless, of course, you state that you wish me an unpleasant Christmas with worms and maggots and debt and shit some how, in which case I will keep it boxed away until you change your mind. Yes? Is that not simpler? I mean if you really want that authentic card experience….stick it into an envelope, write your name and address on the envelope and stick it in the mail. That way you’re spending the same money on postage as I would have done and then that’s fair isn’t it? You don’t have to feel done out of 40p. I’m happy, you’re happy. Then, get your friends to do the same. Of then course, if you really don’t like a person, why not just send them a card with “I hate you, I hope your Christmas if full of fights and parsnips” and they’ll feel badly done to because they went to the effort in pretending to get a card from you Then it will be a greener and much pleasanter Christmas for all….except that person you don’t like.
But still feel free to send Birthday cards….you know…to massage my own narcissisms.