A Conversation for BB NaJoPoMo
Bluebottle Started conversation Dec 5, 2019
The last day of November and it is time to write a list of everyone I plan to send a Christmas card to. After the shock that, while a box of 50 Christmas cards costs £3, a sheet of 50 Christmas second class stamps costs £30:50 (61p per stamp!) has worn off* , it was time to write out the list of people to send things to.
This is mainly copied from last year's list, and this year the number of births and new names added to the list have outnumbered the number of deaths and people removed from it. But it is the people I've not heard from for ages that always puzzle me each year. They're the people who used to mean a lot to me, but we've drifted apart and now only exchange cards once a year. And a lot can happen in a year. They could have moved house, had children, split with their partners or married someone new – possibly changing their names. Some of those people go on about their life story non-stop and would never dream of having a cup of without updating their page to inform everyone, but others don't go on social media very often and say little when they do, so a quick glance might reveal a picture of them with a baby, but no way of knowing whether it is their child or possibly a niece or nephew? And when I know that they were pregnant I try and deduce the child's name based on what names are frequently mentioned.
Sometimes I wonder whether it'd be better to only include names of people I've actually met when sending cards. After all, I don't normally send Christmas cards to people I don't know. I can imagine a partner or child looking at a card with their name on it from me and thinking, 'Who is this BB feller who has sent me a card? I don't know them!' But then I also know that sometimes when we get a card that doesn't have my wife or children's name on, they feel they've been snubbed. So either way I can't win.
So I do the best I can at updating the list accurately, in the hope that I am sending out cards correctly and not inadvertently upsetting people by addressing a card to a deceased partner or someone who has otherwise left the addressee's life. But I do wonder whether there are people out there who get my Christmas cards and ask their partners, 'Hon, why have we had another Christmas card this year from that bloke you worked with 20 years ago, addressed to you, your ex and your goldfish that died twelve years ago…?'
* Actually it won't wear off. Ever. I'm still shocked.
SashaQ - happysad Posted Dec 5, 2019
Yes, it is a tricky thing about card lists.
If there was a change, I think Christmas Cards are a good way to get in touch, so the person with the goldfish would have sent you a card back with different details on if that were the case
If you don't receive cards from people in return, though, it is difficult to know the etiquette.
Some of my acquaintances decided they were not going to send cards as they would make a donation to charity instead, but they didn't send me a card to tell me they wouldn't be sending a card, so I didn't know what had happened to them... One of my acquaintances did send a card to say they wouldn't be sending any more cards, but I send them a card anyway to make sure they don't forget about me - we don't meet during the year but it could be useful for us to keep in touch.
I received cards for 'Edward' for about 5 years after I moved into my own place, and their friends must have wondered why Edward was not sending them a card in return, but I didn't even know an Edward and had no way of getting in touch with the friends to say that Edward didn't live there any more
I did get in touch with someone who sent a lovely card and letter to 'Simon and Maureen', but she was quite deaf so when I telephoned and said I was Sasha not Simon she asked me how Maureen was Luckily I got her postal address and was able to send her a card to apologise for not being Simon and giving her other options to try.
I applaud your thoughtfulness and am thankful to be on your card list.
Congratulations on a superb NaJoPoMo
Bluebottle Posted Dec 6, 2019
It took a while but I got there in the end
I did once get a reply from one person who I'd never had a card from ever before, in which he asked me to give him money to sponsor his year in Africa. That's not quite the same as not sending cards to give the money to charity instead, though. Obviously I encourage people to give money to charities that behave properly and not aggressively, but that isn't going to put a little rectangular picture on the string pinned to my wall, now, is it? And yes, I think the effort of keeping in touch and the warm glow of knowing that you're still remembered by people you used to know means something is worth it.
Sounds like quite a scandal happened in your place before you were there – a triangle between Maureen, Simon and Edward!
SashaQ - happysad Posted Dec 6, 2019
"Sounds like quite a scandal happened in your place before you were there – a triangle between Maureen, Simon and Edward! "
That is rather cheeky to use Christmas cards to ask for money... I think Christmas cards that sponsor charities are the best of both worlds - make a small contribution, but also provide the little rectangular pictures that brighten up the house and show that people are thinking of people in the dark time of the year
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