Christmas Cards. The Good, the Bad an th’ Ugly…

19 Dec

At the end of November, I decided not to send Xmas cards. This was for a number of  reasons:

1) I have 275 people on my list. When taking into account sheer costs of purchasing cards this amount to £23.37

2) Add to this some 55 UK 2nd class stamps (£28.60) and 32 overseas airmailed cards (£70.40) and the running total amounts to £122.37

3) Include the amount of time that I miss out on work-wise whilst doing scribbling, sorting and posting cards. I shall use a standard -rate for ‘consultancy hours’ of £35 per hour.  So, 275 cards x (@ 2 mins per card) = 550 mins (9 hours.) Add time spent at post office (20 mins) and we have some 9 hour and 20 mins – resulting in £323.57.

Final total amount of money ‘spent’ on the Christmas card production line amounts to £426.70

And when you factor in the (needless) lopping down of trees, cost of print, production and packaging for the cards themselves you can see that we also have a rather unenvironmentally friendly pastime going on here…

Chuck in the erosion of my mental well-being and the domestic arguments that card-writing induces (my other half refers to this as the ‘maryrdom factor’ – but he’s the lazy sod who has gotten away with not doing any – for 40-odd years…) and ultimately, the case against me sending ANY cards at all is overwhelming.

So I will be giving the money ‘saved’ towards our little project to help kids in Namibia receive reading materials (see the blog for May this year.)

Cards from dear-hearts on our mantlepiece this year (NB if you're wondering who the hell vandalised the mantlepiece - it's been there since 1790 so it was probably some Georgian or Victorian scumbag)

Cards from nice people displayed on our mantle this year (NB if you’re wondering who the hell vandalised the stonework, the house was built in 1790 so it was probably some Georgian or Victorian scumbag or other…)

However. There are a few exceptions to the rule who might well end up receiving a card from me and mine:

a) Orphans, widowed people, elderly folk and the vulnerable (’cause Jesus was really into caring about that lot wasn’t he? And seeing as though I’m far too often accused of being a martyr…)

b) Muslims (because despite what the far right may like you to believe – I do have some muslim pals who like to send me a Christmas card. Fab, I say! Deserves some reciprocation!)

c) Family at the other end of the country who we never get to see

d) Good friends overseas

e) People who send me a really nice, thoughtful card with a special message

f) Really posh and important people who would be horribly offended if I didn’t send them one and….


See! I’ve fallen for it again! Sodding hell.

Anyway. All I can say is this – if you DO enjoy writing cards then carry on with it. There has been the odd year where I enjoyed card-writing (although I was probably drunk) so yeah, just carry on keeping the Post Office alive. And if I receive a card from you – rest assured that it will duly be recycled into a gift tag for pressies to people next year (or even this year, if I’m bored and fancy a tinker with the crimping shearts.)

Oh – and the same rules as above tend to apply for the sending of birthday cards in our wee family. It doesn’t happen that often…(in fact my daughter has never received a card from us. She doesn’t seem to be that arsed about it, funnily enough.)

So am I saying that the whole greeting card-writing thing is redundant in my life? Not at all. In fact, over the last year or so, writing and sending greetings cards has become a lot more fun. A certain old buddy of mine (old as in ‘we met at Brownies’ not as in she’s a bit musty-smelling) and I have created a new and very enjoyable pastime. We hunt out the most horrible, old-fashioned and/or tacky cards that we can possibly lay our mitts on. We both get very excited about the hideous monstrosity which we expect to receive at birthdays and at Christmas time.  The clincher this year was one that I had saved from 1978 (I kid you not…just ask my other half about my squirelling tendencies…) Even back then, as a tiny nipper just about to embark on the art of card-sending… I couldn’t believe how vile it was.  Neither could my buddy when she opened the damned thing.

So although me and my pal’s families think that we’re both crackers, it’s definitely brought the joy – and certainly the ‘thought’ back into our card-sending. As well as spreading knowledge about dialect (oh come on – don’t tell me you don’t know what the word ‘fow’ means?!)

The FOWEST card imaginable. And a genuine relic - saved by me from a 1978 rubbish bin - and lovingly sent to a pal who appreciates utter crapness at Christmas...

The FOWEST card imaginable. And a genuine relic – saved by me from a 1978 rubbish bin – and lovingly sent to a pal who appreciates utter crapness at Christmas. (Do google ‘Fow’ if you are unsure of the meaning of this Lancashire word)

So if you don’t receive a card from me this year. Please don’t sulk. Or think that I don’t love you. I do. It’s just that I’ve decided to write to people throughought the year instead. Seems a bit more meaningful that way. It means that I can spend more time thinking about you, making a greater effort to reach out to people and putting more care and consideration into my written communication.

Well. That’s my bloody excuse anyway…



8 Responses to “Christmas Cards. The Good, the Bad an th’ Ugly…”

  1. Sharon Alison Butt December 26, 2014 at 3:37 pm #

    Ha ha ha ha ha! We used to send cards like that to people we felt obliged to give to, who we didn’t really like.
    Well, I’m not A, B, C, or D. I could be E but I too, don’t send them anymore (unless I cheat like I did with yours) and I’m not F coz I aint posh nor do I care about receiving one as they all end up in a plastic folder. How about a G? This could be a drawn one that you’ve photographed on your phone the sent as an email attachment? You could even colour it in 😊.

    Thanks for a Boxing Day laugh xx

    • funnylass December 28, 2014 at 3:33 pm #

      Hang on… why do your cards end up in a plastic folder? Do you also use gloves to pick them up with? Are you actually a police officer trying to collect forensic evidence?
      I am worrying about you now…

  2. juliathorley December 22, 2014 at 10:36 am #

    Well said, friend! Many merries to you and yours.

  3. Nina Jane Cooper December 20, 2014 at 6:00 pm #

    As receiver of the above FOW card, I confirm it is truly minging (to coin a more modern way of describing something as ugly)! The card I have sent in return is more ‘dour’ than ‘fow’. It is currently in the post so I have yet to see what Funnylass thinks of it. Mine is a poor entry this year, I must confess. Really struggled to find a really bad Christmas card!

    • funnylass December 20, 2014 at 9:18 pm #

      I appreciate that you have conceded defeat in the FOW Xmas Card stakes for 2014. After all – you did win the FOW Birthday Cards award in 2014. You cannot have it all, our lass!

      But I am now thinking that perhaps we need to find an independent judge for this contest. The world of books – of literature for example – is completely dominated by a group of self-appointed judges and in-bred London-centric Luvvies. Can we find a northern – or plebby working-class equivalent for our FOW cards competition? Answers on a postcard please (as we like to keep our posties employed here in the Regions…)

      • Dolly Decades December 21, 2014 at 12:33 pm #

        Let your blog readers judge! Put next year’s cards on as a special blog post and let them vote. It’ll be like the X Factor of the card world! Don’t tell them whose card is whose! Gosh….the stakes are high now….eeek!

  4. adrian ashton December 19, 2014 at 8:47 pm #

    I get the feeling that in light of the above, this may have been your preferred design for christmas cards to give this year (assuming you had the £426.70 to spare – although that doesn’t include the ink to write them, or tea and biscuits needed to sustain you through the process…)

    • funnylass December 20, 2014 at 9:13 pm #

      Ah yes – Tis a time to bring together the faith-ful and the faith-less.If a crappy card or a blogpost like the one I trundled out above cannot be ‘licked n liked’ with the most heartfelt of wintry-warm spirits…Then what the hell can we hope for this Christmastide?

      99% of us – regardless of country of origin and spiritual beliefs – still learn to laugh and to connect with others – above all else. Let’s bridge the gaps of religion, politics and national affiliation (i.e. MEANING – “accidents of birth”) and extend a bit of a Mancunian pow-slap to all across the world (NB to those not from the North of England – a ‘Pow Slap’ is a nice, accepting way of saying ‘your haircut is bobbins – but we love you still)…’

      (NOTE – Translation – ‘Bobbins’ – means ‘really, really crap’)

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