It's quite funny returning to blog posts from the previous year. It shows just how little life changes really. Last Christmas I had this small rant about Christmas cards. I was about to write a post about Christmas cards but then remembered that I'd done that already. A year ago. And my rant this year would be virtually identical.
However, there have been a few small changes this year. For a start, I sent virtually no Christmas cards to long lost friends overseas. I'm sorry friends overseas. This was down to two things. A) apathy and B) apathy. I do wonder though how many of you will notice the lack of card. Whether you'll be sitting around the Christmas table saying: "You know, we didn't get a Christmas card from Melissa this year". Or whether me not writing a card, driving to the post office, getting it weighed, buying the more expensive stamps and popping them in the box makes little impact on your lives anyway.
I've also chopped several people off my Christmas card list this year due to the fact that we truly never see them and probably never will and it's time to stop the pretence. In fact, browsing through my address book is quite a sad past time. So many people we have lost touch with as we've moved around the world and moved into different phases of our respective lives. I think it might be time for a new address book. But part of me feels sad to throw the old one away, on the off chance we might one day need to track down these old friends.
I also stuck to my guns this year and refused point blank to write any cards for my children's friends. This morning my 5 year old son asked if he could write a card for his teacher and head teacher. I gave him two cards. He wrote them himself. And that was it. Our drawing room on the other hand is littered with cards from children (or rather their parents) who I don't know and probably never will. I don't feel an ounce of guilt about it either.
And finally, cards for the neighbours. There are some neighbours I see reasonably often as they potter around in their gardens (they're all roughly 100 years old). But others I never see and who barely know us. Again - the question of: "Is it worth doing?" springs to mind. But there is something good about writing a card to the little old lady who lives on her own, walking over to her house in the snow with the card and a bag of walnuts from our garden and having a little chat about the weather. It makes Christmas feel like Christmas.
I guess technology like twitter and facebook and blogs and email all make the old fashioned things seem a bit antiquated and pointless. But I hope that the real sentiment of Christmas - peace on earth and goodwill towards men - can stay alive with small gestures that bring cheer on an otherwise frosty day.