Christmas cards

On Thursday evening, I wrote out my Christmas cards.  I know it’s really early but we’re now past Thanksgiving so it isn’t obscene.

Cards and address book
Cards and address book

This year I rather did a cull of my card list.  This is something I’ve always resisted but I realised that I was sending out nearly 120 cards (insane and unsustainable level of wifework).  So people I haven’t seen or heard from in over 5 years aren’t getting a card – this is against the spirit of Christmas, I know.

As it is, I’m sending 62 cards within the UK and 7 overseas.

Stamped and ready to go
Stamped and ready to go

The thing is, I really want to just put them in the post now but don’t want them to arrive before 1 December (even that is a bit early).  Perhaps I’ll post them on Tuesday.  Or perhaps today.  I use second class stamps (why does second class exist?  I can’t work it out) so they should take a bit longer to arrive.

Yes, I read this.  I am middle aged.
Yes, I read this. I am middle aged.

Christmas cards

Yesterday, I posted all my Christmas cards (except for three, which I’ll hand out to people over the next few days).  I love doing my Christmas cards, although I often find it rather bittersweet.  It’s the time when I go through my address book, crossing out old addresses and updating it for new ones.  Sometimes I’ll come to a name of someone who I haven’t spoken to for a while – and then I’ll realise that it’s actually been five, eight, ten years.  I don’t like culling someone from my Christmas card list; I don’t think it’s in the spirit of Christmas, which is probably why I send so many cards.

My Christmas cards - I wrote them out the night before last
My Christmas cards – I wrote them out the night before last

From time to time, I will decide not to send someone a card.  It doesn’t mean that I don’t think of them fondly – there are plenty of people who I would love to catch up with, even after so many years – but there are lots of new people in my address book to whom it makes more sense to send a card.

My address book is a bit messy these days – there’s been so many (various) house moves that it’s become a bit of a mass of crossing out and corrections.  I’ve bought a new address book to replace it – but I probably won’t get round to filling it in until next Christmas.

New address book
New address book

One of the great pleasures in sending out Christmas cards is actually going to the Post Office and buying a load of stamps.  I think this comes from when I was little – sending letters was what grown ups did.  In particular, I get quite a thrill from sending a lot of letters abroad.

Today, I had quite a long chat with the guy behind the counter (instigated by him, I’m not completely batty).  I don’t think he was all that impressed by my stamp buying (he does, after all, work in the Post Office) but he did tell me a long, rather rambling story about how he was going to teach the world to be at peace and harmony with itself.  I think he’s just about to retire.

I love posting letters
I love posting letters
The postbox has been painted recently - it looks great
The postbox has been painted recently – it looks great

Having done my Christmas cards this year, I found this article in The Pool – it basically says that this sort of thing counts as “emotional labour” and that it is left to women far too often.  This is true.  I remember a friend complaining that, whenever a colleague’s partner had had a baby, she was always the one asked to buy the office gift as she was the only woman – even though she was childless at the time and hadn’t the faintest idea what to get.

However, as I am the one who actually, really cares about the Christmas cards, then I think I’d better keep hold of this job.  Until I decide I’ve just about had enough of it.