Dressing the house for Christmas has always been my job. I'm not sure if its because the rest of the household really isn't that interested or if they know how much pleasure it gives me and want to see me happy ( I'll give them the benefit of the doubt and go with the latter)
Although it took me slightly longer than usual ( I lost the impetus on Sunday and didn't get it back until Tuesday! ) The tree is now trimmed......
...the wreath is at the door and the boys Santas are in their rightful place ( they made them when they were in nursery and are beginning to suffer slightly from the ravages of time).
With that job done I should be feeling the warm glow of contentment. Instead I am gripped by a clammy claw of dread. The next task I have to face is one of my least favourite of the season. The writing of Christmas cards!
I spend almost as much time choosing them as I do Christmas presents, trying to marry up appropriate designs with the intended recipients. A lot of trouble for something that will be looked at briefly, put on display (something I've never managed to my satisfaction be they hung, strung or taped), then thrown out for recycling.
I hate to sound like a Scrooge but .... are they really necessary? I don't mean those that get sent to far flung friends and family ( you know, the ones with the accompanying letter filling everyone in on last years news), they are obviously a must. I mean the ones that get given to friends and neighbours. Surely if you see them often enough to hand deliver a card it would be just as easy to wish them a merry Christmas? It would be more sincere than some pre printed message signed underneath with what may or may not be your name, its difficult to tell by the fortieth card. And it could save a tree or two.
Ooh, I do sound a bit 'Bah, humbug' don't I? I don't mean it that way honestly. Let me explain. Due to the unsettling circumstances last year I struggled a bit to focus on the festive season, consequently I didn't get around to sending many cards. Strangely enough I didn't receive that many either. Now to me that seems to indicate card giving operates on a reciprocal basis, if you don't get you don't give!
I made sure that everyone I met in the weeks leading up to Christmas were wished the best of the season. Later on I wrote a cheque for the amount I would have spent on cards and stamps and popped it in to one of the numerous charity envelopes I had received through the post.
So now here I am with some cards spread in front of me wondering what to do. Do I go back to my card sending ways or do I continue with a new tradition, regardless of how inauspiciously it began, keep the cards to a minimum and send the saving to charity? Is being struck off a Christmas card list really such a bad thing?