Thursday, 14 November 2019

We wish you a Merry Christmas tra la la

I've had two conversations along similar lines with two different friends recently. They have both decided not to send any more Christmas cards to people they haven't had contact with for years, and not to go round to their neighbours and put cards in letter boxes. They see them frequently anyway  while out and about, so what's the point. Hoo-bluddy-ray, at last, I thought, some folks are getting it.

Friend (number one) was feeling terribly guilty about her decision, I wonder whether she is going to follow through with her plan. She is worried what people might think of her, what will they say about her when no card arrives. She admits to sending cards to people she has not seen for many years, even some from school days. WHAT! I said in amazement. Yes, 35 years of sending a card to someone she never sees. They were friends once when they were young, but haven't physically seen each other for many years.

I have a friend like that but we do see each other and ring each other up. We remember birthdays, having both reached 70 this year. We both know what we are up to by constant communications. But when someone has had no contact whatsoever except for the Christmas card, what's the point. Life moves on, we all go our different ways. It's called clinging to the past. At some point you need to let go.

This same friend (number one) is also wondering how to get out of an invitation which she receives every year from a woman who lives a few doors down the street. She is just someone she knows, but this woman makes crafts throughout the year, then has a three day open house pushing invites through people's doors asking them to come, but says they don't have to buy anything. My friend (number one) doesn't want to buy anything, but she feels the woman is stepping up the pressure at this time, when normally all they do is say hello in the street. Funny how people suddenly become your best friend when they want something. My friend (number one) asks me what she should do, because she doesn't want to go. I replied, don't go, simple as that.

You can't go through your life doing what other people expect of you. Don't fall for the guilt trips, the blackmail, don't be coerced into doing something you don't want to do.

Friend (number two) has a much more robust outlook on life. She swears that's it, no more Christmas cards except for family, it's a complete waste of time and money. And I believe her. I know her quite well, she is outspoken, is well able to stand up for herself, and is not afraid to say what she thinks.

I will ask them both later on, what kind of a Christmas did they have. Will be interesting.

Lousy day outside, more sewing I think. Need to go to Aldi, running out of things. Toodle pip.  ilona

27 comments:

  1. I hate those sort of selling parties with the hostess looking to make a bit of money out of their neighbours. Been there, done that, got the t-shirt! Now I am older and wiser!

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    1. I had a go at Body Shop at Home. A good way to lose your friends.

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  2. I have not sent Christmas cards for years and tell others not to send to me, although lots still do. I know of people who seem to think that the more cards they receive the more friends they have and use it to boast. Most cards these days do not depict what I think of as Christmas and are scrappy bits of paper. But, I'm not a fan of Christmas nowadays its nothing like when I was a child. Christmas didn't really begin for us until a couple of weeks before when my Mum used all of her Christmas club money that she had saved all year to buy us goodies that we didn't have all year. We really got excited to have strawberry jam and simple things like crackers. The smell of the fruit waiting in the back room to be put out on Christmas Eve is a smell I can still remember.
    OR, maybe I am just a misery, lol
    Briony
    x

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    1. My advice to Friend No1; Go, accept the coffee/drink/mince pie/whatever, compliment on the crafty stuff but only if genuinely meant, say thank you and leave buying nothing. She won't ask you again so you'll have sorted the problem for evermore.
      Cards from old friends - always enjoyed. Even if I haven't seen them for ages it's good to know they are still in existence and hear any news (except medical problems). Preferred if they support a charity.

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    2. Our Christmases were the same, Briony. One big present and a few little simple ones. We had a stocking with fruit in it.

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    3. I also miss the Christmases of old and the heartfelt cards. With the advent of email and the increased cost of postage and cards, a lot of people stopped sending cards. I finally stopped sending too many myself but it took awhile. I remember special, simple Christmases where a present or two was much anticipated and appreciated.

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  3. Each year I send less cards. This year I'll probably send/give out 20something. I buy them in the sale after Christmas or make them from cards received the year before. As you say why do we bother with people we don't see.

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  4. but surely, sending cards to people you haven't seen for a while tells them that they are still in your thoughts ?
    It's a nice way of keeping in touch if you can't physically get to catch up with them, and yes I know you could write to old friends/aquaintances at any time, but how many do ?
    The World is cold and hard enough and devoid of love without cutting connections to those we once held dear.
    A Christmas card doesn't cost that much these days, you can get a whole box full for £1 - don't be a 'Christmas meanie' - send a little love.

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    1. I don't agree at all-For me, I don't think I'm mean but I don't enjoy writing Christmas cards- I get quite anxious about the whole " Xmas" thing.It is all too stressful on Top of my usual daily activities and the expense of it.Kitty you do know that Ilona is NOT "a Christmas meanie"-you have seen some of her lovingly made bags and cushions etc for The Charity Cat stall she helps at a Christmas event surely on here haven't you?

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    2. I have found that sending cards to people I don't see has just kept us in touch over the years and quite often then we have come back into each others lives. With some people it's our only contact and I don't want to let that go. Makes more sense if stopping to stop the ones you see all the time but it's just my opinion. I like choosing them, such beautiful designs and writing them.

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  5. Its funny how we keep things going for tradition sake and a sense of guilt. My late grandmother felt it wouldn't be Christmas unless she made her fruitcake every year although she complained how time consuming and expensive it had become in later years. As far as Christmas cards go, I send a lot less than what I use to send and I have noticed that I receive a lot less now too as many family and friends have stopped. I think times have changes (for better or worst) and with so many people using social media such as Facebook to connect this has taken the place of cards especially with younger people. I certainly don't feel any obligation to send cards to people I haven't been in contact with or seen in years.

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  6. I haven't sent Christmas cards in over 20 years, with one exception. Christmas has no significance to me, I loathe the massive overconsumption of it all and I refuse to enter into all the stupidity. I stopped sending Christmas cards after looking at all the ones i had been sent and thinking 'what a waste'.
    My one exception was a very lonely older colleague whose family had all but abandoned her, I embroidered her a lovely card because I wanted her to have something nice, she treasured it. I have persuaded those that I now work with not to send each other Christmas cards or buy tons of chocolates etc and we now make a donation to charity instead.
    If I'm a 'Christmas meanie' then so be it, at least I have my principles intact.

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  7. Christmas this year? Supermarkets vying for the best Christmas ad, Amazon ruining a perfectly good song (Everybody loves Somebody), Black Friday, Plastic tat by the ton, wasted food, Celebs manning soup kitchens for the publicity, a second mortgage to be able to afford postage for Christmas cards - I really can't be arsed! A walk along the beach or a bike ride down a country road - bliss!

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    1. Yep, brain washed, must do it all over again, year after year.

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  8. Every year I write out my Xmas card list, using the up-dated list from the year before. When xmas is over I tick off the cards I received - those names un-ticked don't get a card the next year and my list get's shorter every year. 3 of my friends live far away and it's nice to exchange family news. Most of my gifts are items I've made myself and I'm happy about that :)

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    1. I was in a similar position years ago, a shrinking Christmas card list. Eventually I thought, just stop. One or two people carried on sending them even though I hadn't seen them for years, but eventually they stopped. I don't need a massive friendship list, I have a few close friends, that's enough for me.

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    2. I was of the mind to stop sending Christmas cards to people I rarely see or think about very much (mostly old colleagues) until someone said but they ARE thinking about you when they write you a card, which made me rethink. Also It's nice to read any news they may have so I will continue to send them.

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  9. Very revealing.

    I do send Christmas cards and decent ones at that (this year they will be designed by my son), and most will include a printed letter to which I add handwritten individual stuff (which sometimes extends to several sides of A4), and I send with nice stamps too, and I love receiving them. I am not sure why they would be a waste as I decorate my home with them and then recycle them or make them into gift tags or whatever. Of course if you do Facebook you might have all the high and lowlights anyway, but I don't. I have met up again eventually with some people I've only exchanged Christmas and perhaps birthday cards (and letters in those) for years and would see more if circumstances were not against it. There is something about having that fixed date that means you make that effort and it doesn't slip into having meant to get in touch but never quite getting round to it.

    I'm also not quick to drop those I just don't hear from at all, having had eventual thank yous from people who had been in depressions too deep and sometimes financial situations too difficult on top but have appreciated that I kept sending when others had dropped them (I always put an address on the back in case someone has moved)

    It's a midwinter feast and we are blessed to have the choice to adapt it to our personal needs as they evolve - one of the exciting things about establishing your own home, especially (but not only) if you have children is establishing and adopting new traditions and letting go of others. I know some people have Christmasses they love that I'd hate. Some people just sound as though they suffer from SAD (or have the misfortune to have uncongenial families or social circles, I know that happens - and if I thought I was in a situation of getting stressed, buying any old card on price, and just swapping signatures and no news, year after year (we can all have a bad one) I'd stop too)

    Living within your means is a very different matter. None of it is worth getting into debt for.

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    1. I think that those who want to keep in touch forever, but don't actually see each other or speak to each other, are not able to move on in life.

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  10. I still send cards to a few people, mostly long distance family that aren't on social media (aunts/uncles) and a couple of friends. But we have pared it down quite alot. As for the lady that has a 3 day sale every year I would simply say I was busy and leave it at that (no explanation required)

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  11. I am leading the pack in my family. Some years ago, we pared down Xmas so drastically that my kids were stunned LOL And every year since then, we have bought less and less and done less and less. I have grandchildren and will be only buying for them this year. I have a few Xmas cards that I send out, only a handful, to people I really care about and they reciprocate. I have told family NOT to buy me or the hubs anything, we don't need it and don't want it, thank you. Three out of my four adult children have scaled back massively on Xmas and stick to a strict budget. For the first time EVER, the hubs and I will not be visiting anyone on Xmas Day, nor will we be having visitors until afterwards, for the New Year. We might go for a drive to the beach, in any event we will be pleasing ourselves. Oh, and we will be donating food and supplies to a very special animal compound nearby, that will be the extent of my Xmas giving. I'm done LOL

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    1. This is music to my ears. Good for you for doing what's best for you.

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  12. I dont know if it's just me getting older and wiser but Christmas and all it's trappings are blatantly pure commerce.

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    1. Yes, the shopping frenzy has nothing at all to do with the Christian religion of celebrating the birth of Christ. It's a money making racket.

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  13. We haven't set Christmas cards for years, I did a calculation of how much the cards and postage cost and I give that amount to the dog's trust every year. It seems our friends understand and if they don't then it's obvious they don't really know me at all.

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  14. Some great comments on here that show everyone is different. Brilliant stuff. I love Christmas but can do without the pointless presents.

    Time with those you care about, a mince pie, a nice pint and the Boxing Day footie.

    Fab blog.

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