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I've just printed the labels for the Christmas cards - Helen's journal and online home
In which an old dog attempts to learn new tricks.
I've just printed the labels for the Christmas cards
We've decided at Quaker meeting that, by mutual agreement, we won't automatically exchange cards. That suits me very well because sending cards is one of the tasks that makes Christmas a difficult time for me.

In recent years, I force myself to be ruthless and simply send cards to the people in my database. But there's still the indecision as I look through the names and wonder whether I should send a card to so-and-so or whether to leave them out this year. At least my worry that I'll send a card to someone who has died no longer applies. I know my own family and the last of G's relatives passed away, but as I never really knew who any of them were, I was always stressed about getting something wrong. People get so upset about such things because they seem to think that you did it because you didn't care, whereas in fact you were just disorganised and forgetful. :(

As it is, I'm sure there will be someone I omit to send a card to who will send one to me; and I may send a card to someone who doesn't reciprocate. But I will just have to keep chanting, "It really doesn't matter," in an attempt to avoid becoming paralysed by indecision. It really isn't a good time of year to have to stressful and complicated things. It's dark and I feel as though I'm functioning on half a brain.

At least I am more organised this year. I have bought the presents and wrapped them and I'll get the cards off early this week. There have been years when I've sat down on Boxing Day to write cards and some years I never got around to sending them at all. No one particularly seemed to notice. I suppose that if they did, they assumed it had got lost in the post. :)

I am definitely not going to follow my Dad's example though. When I saw him last Tuesday, my Dad announced that he was going to wait to see who sent him cards and then reply accordingly. It's just as well everyone doesn't do that or, as it explains here in Newsbiscuit, it would lead to a stand-off!

[Cross-posted from Dreamwidth by way of a backup http://heleninwales.dreamwidth.org/74291.html. If you want to leave a comment, please use whichever site you find most convenient. Comments so far: comment count unavailable.]

Current Mood: cheerful reasonably cheerful for the time of year

11 comments or Leave a comment
athgarvan From: athgarvan Date: December 8th, 2012 08:27 pm (UTC) (Link)
How refreshingly honest.
heleninwales From: heleninwales Date: December 9th, 2012 10:39 am (UTC) (Link)
I can't remember how long you've been following me, but I have written with my problems with regard to Christmas before. My issues are primarily to do with my mother-in-law's unreasonable expectations. She died years ago now, but those Christmases have left their scars. Add in the SAD and it generally becomes a time of year I find difficult. I just want to crawl into a cosy hole and hibernate until mid-February when the days are beginning to lengthen again, but everyone expects you to be festive.
scallywag195 From: scallywag195 Date: December 9th, 2012 03:03 am (UTC) (Link)
Your definitely more organized than I am. I bought this year's Christmas card last January at half price, but they sit on a shelf in the closet waiting...

And I've bought presents that need to be sent by post for family. But are they wrapped and boxed yet? NO.
heleninwales From: heleninwales Date: December 9th, 2012 10:42 am (UTC) (Link)
All being well, I will be meeting the offspring next weekend for a quick get-together and exchange of presents. Of course if the weather or illness prevents us from travelling, they'll have to be posted at the last minute, so this apparent organised state may fall apart at any moment!

I really wish the early Christians had decided to snaffle the pagan mid-SUMMER festival instead of the mid-winter one. I have so much more energy during long, light summer days and travel to visit family is so much easier.
muuranker From: muuranker Date: December 9th, 2012 09:10 pm (UTC) (Link)
My Finnish friends (who know a lot about SAD, and how to cope - or not - with the dark) seem to celebrate St John's Eve as much as Christmas (i.e. midsummer, rather than midwinter).

The Finns did not convert until the 11th - 13th centuries, which perhaps gave them the perspective to snaffle the best festival for people who have to deal with the literal dark.
feodora From: feodora Date: December 9th, 2012 08:52 am (UTC) (Link)

Xmas Cards

These problems (whom to send a card) are well known to me.
The last years I sent email and those who havent one got a card (or not). As You I am always undecided.
Worst szenario, I dont write but get one from a person.

This year I decided to write cards to people I dearly love or closed friends AND an email to the common distributionlist.
heleninwales From: heleninwales Date: December 9th, 2012 10:47 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: Xmas Cards

I'm glad to hear that it's not just me that feels these tasks are difficult. I often think I'm the only person who finds it hard.

As you say, as long as the people you really care about get a message, then more distant acquaintances don't really matter too much.
From: cmcmck Date: December 9th, 2012 02:11 pm (UTC) (Link)
I wasn't aware that you are also of Friends :o)
heleninwales From: heleninwales Date: December 9th, 2012 02:33 pm (UTC) (Link)
Yes, I've been an attender for some years now. We're a very small local group that meets once a fortnight in someone's house, but I find the meetings helpful and enjoyable as well as making new friends now I don't have work colleagues any more.
From: cmcmck Date: December 9th, 2012 04:30 pm (UTC) (Link)
I attended for many years from my late teens having quite the C of E but finally committed when we lived in Ealing twelve or so years back.
birdsedge From: birdsedge Date: December 9th, 2012 04:19 pm (UTC) (Link)
These days I send out half my cards as e-cards from the Jacqui Lawson website, especially to friends overseas and internet friends I don't have a home address for. I only send out about fifty as paper cards and a fair few of those are to friends and relatives I don't see very often, but feel I need to keep in touch. I do the usual Christmas letter - which I know some people hate, BB included - though I tend to personalise each one rather than mass produce a newsletter.

I'm sure I miss people out - accidentally, of course. I never worry about whether I get a card back from someone - I'm certainly not offended if I don't.

My advice would be to stop worrying about it (though of course, that's easy for me to say and less easy for you to do). One year I left it too late and didn't send any cards at all. No one was offended. I'll bet most people didn't even notice. My Mum hasn't sent cards for years, but she still gets a flood of cards coming in, so obviously people don't strike her from their Christmas list for the heinous crime of not reciprocating.
11 comments or Leave a comment