Don’t send cards. Boycott the whole nonsense.
Christmas is everywhere. Even in the garden. Robins posing in the holly, pigeons pretending to be turtle doves, and the hens acting French.
There is no partridge in the pear tree though. They are busy getting shot nearby, I can hear the guns at weekends. For the record, pear trees on Christmas cards are too leafy. This is a pear tree in winter. Imagine that the duck is a partridge and you will see why no sensible partridge would try hiding there.
Indoors, somebody called Carrie Underwood is irritating the hell out everybody because Christmas is her favourite time of year and you can’t even make a cup of tea to radio 2 without her bleating about it. Not sure what is favourite about it, seeing as nobody can come for Christmas, every other person has to be a delivery driver, depression is through the roof, we can’t see friends, it is dark as fuck, the turkeys all got bird flu and died and nobody made any new TV shows for us.
But Nostalgia, that thing that makes anything in the past seem better than it actually was, is kicking in whether we like it or not. Memories twinkle with happy parties, jolly games and warm sherry in candlelight with toasty mince pies in sparkling snow. TV adverts are going into overdrive to keep this alive.
Time to kick that Nostalgia out the door and face up to the hard facts. What is the point of sending somebody a message wishing them happy Christmas this year?
No. Don’t send cards.
Lots of excellent excuses here. But the Christmas card collection is full of suspiciously half written, unaddressed work from November 2019 and even 2018, when there were other excuses.
And this is a Mast year
Every few years Oak trees suddenly produce a bumper crop of acorns. This is called a mast year and nobody is quite sure how the trees organise themselves to make sure that they all do this at the same time. 2020 is one of these special years.
Thousands of acorns, which I gather by the barrow, for fear of anybody thinking I don’t like to keep the road tidy.
Perhaps this is a mast year for cards? The year to say hello and remember tradition. Tradition means doing something, for no reason other than somebody once said it should always be done.
Do send cards
I switch off radio 2, and the inner cynic, and look for ways to make this a simple and meaningful process.
Make a list
Write a list of names and work through it in order of fondness. Try to include some of these:
- The person that did things for you or, might do things for you
- The child who deserves the money in the card, and will remember you when you are old
- The family member you have not seen since 2012 and you actually like
- The person who turned up with a pile of cards and handed one to you and said ‘that’s you done’
- The person you never see but, always sends a card, so this will be a nice surprise for them
Get over enthusiastic and decide that all cards Must be Home Made
Find card, glue and scissors. Collect décor for the design, it does not matter what. Old cards, cloth, seeds, bits of dry food are all great, but not glitter because it is Bad. Get everything onto one table.
Glue something on the front of each card and you’re off..
Become completely obsessed.
Get a production line going. Radio 2 can go back on when you get to this stage, because you will sing along happily and enter a state of flow.
These are seeded cards, which are especially fashionable this year. It will be interesting to see if the seeds can work their way out of the glue in springtime.
Write in them
Make sure that the person getting a card knows that it is from you. No point just writing ‘from Jo and Matt’ as they might know several people called Jo and Matt. Put something that shows you care. ‘Hope your leg is better’ or ‘Still eating the jam you made me after our lovely walk by the Stour’ are excellent examples.
Which ones on the list will get a card?
It does not matter. Most people get too many cards and don’t remember who they are from. Stop when time, or something better to do, gets in the way.
Try to post some before you loose interest and go for a walk
Today it did not get light for long, but at mid day there was a watery sun. We walked by the grey river and everything around was grey but I know there are bulbs under the ground.
Boris is busy securing No Deal, but it is OK because the vaccine is coming in on planes, so it doesn’t matter that the ports are about to come to a standstill.