caz963: (Autumn misty bench)
[personal profile] caz963
I think this is the first time for about the last six years, that I feel as though Christmas isn't creeping up on me. Usually, there's so much to do at school, that I seem to live from week to week by numbers, rather than actually realising the date so that it's suddenly the end of term and Christmas is just a few days away.

But not being at work right now means I've had time to do stuff at a more leisurely pace, like making the cake, puddings, mincemeat and various pickles. I've actually enjoyed doing it all rather than seen it as something I need to get done NOW or I won't have the time to do it at all.

There is, however, one thing I still have to do and I want to pick the brains of my super-intelligent f-list. Christmas cards. I said last year that I really would rather stop sending cards to people just for the sake of it - and come on, we all do it, send cards to people we don't otherwise think about all year! - and give the money I'd have spent on the cards and postage (plus a bit) to charity.

I'd still send a card to close family and friends, but I really want to cut down on the rest. For one thing, writing makes my RSI flare up, and for another, it's so bloody time-consuming.

But how do I go about this? I know that some of the people on my list have an email address, so I could send an ecard and then explain that I'm donating money instead, but what about those that don't, or whose addys I don't know? Or am I just being an enormous Humbug! and should just shut up and get on with it?

Any ideas?

Date: 2011-11-21 11:58 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I'm a Humbug minimalist; if I send cards at all it's only to close family and friends.

How are you with typing? A friend of mine from university sends out a Christmas form letter to everyone describing their past year. Most word processors have a mail merge function that will insert names/addresses into documents and format envelopes. It might take more work this year to set up, but next year you'll have everything ready to go. You'll still spend money on postage, but maybe avoid the cost of cards. But as I said, I'm minimalist. :-)

Date: 2011-11-22 01:08 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Hmmm. That's a tricky one. I do lots of christmas cards, mostly. It's the one way I can keep in touch with relatives each year. But when I don't do them (always out of sheer laziness and procrastination, and against my plans) there's never any outcry, so who knows if anyone really cares? I was raised to write in them (not just signing which would be oh so much faster but does seem like a waste of paper) but it's a lot of writing and doesn't do anything for my RSI either. I think the letter suggestion above is good. We (flist) get to read lovely updates about your girls, and your life, but maybe the relatives don't? I know some people make snide comments about those ' impersonal christmas update' letters, but I personally love reading them, and I'm sure I'm not alone. It saves the cost/paper of a card too (we often get them in a card, but I don't think that's necessary. You could add a 'letterhead' christmassy picture or something instead. And if they aren't someone you want to tell that kind of news too, maybe just drop them quietly?

Date: 2011-11-22 02:27 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I think that's an awesome idea! Maybe word of mouth? "Hey Cousin Jane, can you please let Aunt Marion know I am not sending expensive cards this year in lieu of donating the money to a good cause? But let her know I am thinking of her!" etc.

Kudos to you! :)

Date: 2011-11-22 03:03 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I have to admit that I don't write anything on my Christmas cards. Basically for me it's a choice of sending cards or writing things on them. (I do picture cards with Chicklet and have a happy holidays message on them.) I will put off sending cards until next year if I have to also come up with a message for everyone.

As for cutting down the Christmas card list, I'd just do it and not worry too much about it. If you are sending out ecards you are still spending time and effort on it! (even if not money) Cut down the list, send out the cards you want, and move on with life.

Date: 2011-11-22 08:46 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I find my Christmas list decreases each year. I had a serious cull a couple of years ago, based on the assumption that if I can't be bothered to communicate with someone at any other time of year there isn't much of a relationship left.

However, there are some elderly people (mostly friends of my late parents) that I still send to, because I feel it probably gives them some pleasure. Since I'm in my fifties, theere are fewer of these each suceeding year.

Where I know someone is online, I send a card or email with a link to a webpage where they can view our xmas letter and/or a few photos.

There are charities that will design and mail a pretty online card for you (last year I used the NSPCC), but you may need to make it clear to them that this doesn't necessarily indicate a willingness to be pestered year-round for donations.

And of course, there's always Twitter and Facebook.

I think the main perpetuators of the whole Xmas card industry these days are charities, who could presumably benefit more if more people did what you are doing and donated to them directly.

Date: 2011-11-22 01:34 pm (UTC)
hooloovoo_42: (Default)
From: [personal profile] hooloovoo_42
Well you know what ahumbug I am! I haven't sent more than a handful of cards in years. I do like reading the Chritmas correspondence Ma gets from people I've known all my life and most of them now resort to mass produced efforts. A friend of mine created a family newsletter one year ( I think she was doing an IT course and they'd used Publisher) that had photos and an index! Why not do.something like that? Get the kids to help and use some of your lj entries as inspiration. For those people you have email addresses for, send it electronically. Only post the ones you need to. Include a bit to.say that while you want to keep in touch, you've decided this isbetter than cards and you've picked a charity to donate to. Put in a bit about which one and why. Also ask if they have email for future communications. Who lnow, you might contact them more if they do.

And for anyone you're only sending to out of habit, don't and see what happens.

Date: 2011-11-23 03:15 am (UTC)
develish1: (Default)
From: [personal profile] develish1
I stopped sending them out en mass ages ago, and now only send them to close family etc. I refuse to feel guilty about not spending stupid amounts on money on something that in most cases ends up in the bin a couple of weeks later.

I do donate to charity though, and that feels much better to do :)


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