Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Goats for Grannies

It's that time of year again. The time when people don't send Christmas cards.

Well, businesses don't, anyway. They send you an email with a photo of a goat, or of the building where the business is located, or of a smiling foreign child, or of a rather naff Christmas tree that they found on the internet somewhere.

And with it comes a Festive Message that says something like We haven't sent any Christmas cards this year. We have instead made a charitable donation to Goats for Grannies, (or Make Foreign People Smile, or Christmas Trees for All, or some such worthy cause.)

Unfortunately, unless I know the sender personally, I then tend to think several things:

1) I bet you haven't

2) How much?

3) Okay then, show me the receipt!

4) And if you cared THAT much about the charity you'd send the donation anyway.

5) You've just fired off that email to everyone in your inbox, haven't you, and sighed with relief and thought "Ahhh, that's the Christmas cards sorted!"

Not very Christmassy thoughts, really. I'm sure that in some cases the charitable donation is genuine - - but really, I don't like the current trend of doing this. Send me a Christmas card if you want to. Give a charitable donation if you want to. Don't send me a Christmas card if you don't want to. The two things - the Christmas card and the charitable donation - are not connected in my head. Or they weren't, until you connected them.

But now, in contrast, here's something that's really Christmassy:

It's a Christmas card to the Communist and my mother. Unfortunately, it doesn't have an address on it so I can't write back to explain that he died last year, and the Communist's address book got lost somewhere in the shuttle between hospitals and nursing homes.

It's from Dawn, who was one of the assistants in the Communist's chemist shop. She always sends him a card.

The Communist retired in 1985, when he was sixty-two. Twenty-four years ago. And she's sent a card every year since, from her and her husband and their children.

He was a good man to work for, the Communist - he always looked after his staff. And it's great to have such a reminder of that.


Blogger Jennyta said...

What a lovely tribute to your Dad - that he should remain in the memory and affection of someone who worked with him for so many years.

10:09 pm  
Blogger Yorkshire Pudding said...

I rather like the idea of Christmas cards. They say - you figure in my life and I acknowledge you even though I may not have seen you for years - I still think of you. "This year we are making a donation to a charity" fails to recognise such a simple gesture of friendship/connection.

12:08 am  
Anonymous ruth said...

Every year a Christmas card is delivered to my home addressed to someone I have never heard of but who can't have lived here for in excess of 12 years. Last year I opened the envelope to check if there was a return address. There wasn't. How long does someone keep sending cards to a person they can't have seen/spoken to for so many years?

4:33 pm  
Blogger Steve said...

Sorry but Christmas Cards make companies like Hallmark an absolute fortune. Write a letter if you feel the need but when it it comes to Mavis from accounts writing 345 Xmas cards for workmates, and all of Mavis' 345 workmates sending her one back because, well, because she sent them one, then it becomes devalued.

And I'll guarantee they all thought "bugger...I'll have to send one back to Mavis now...."

Still, merry Christmas....your card's in the post. ;)

1:14 am  
Blogger chunky_lover68 said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

4:21 am  
Blogger chunky_lover68 said...

i got a singing elmo card, it was awesome, then it was annoying.

4:22 am  

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