19:30

Christmas cards

Christmas cards; what has gone wrong? In days of yore they were income for charities and a means of acknowledging, once a year, a family or social connection.

Now? I get cards from businesses that I have never heard of signed by Jim, Teresa, Joanna, Matthew, Richard, Brione, George, Graham and Jo (just one example). What is this about? Even if I had the faintest idea who they were, am I more likely to do business with anyone that wastes their time and effort in this way? And then there are the photographs of the teenage children playing polo, skiing and in black tie for some family party and only signed ‘from us all’. Who are they? Do I care? Do the senders have no sense of irony or how this will play when the revolution comes? Can they not see the vulgarity?

Unfortunately this rot started from the top when royal Christmas cards became family portraits. What might be acceptable in royalty - who would have real problems in selecting a charity from amongst the many with whom they are involved - is really no excuse for anyone else no matter how grand they are.

The answer? Charity cards with no exceptions – and a family snap enclosed. Or also, as Americans do well, a little (and little it needs to be) account of what everyone is up to (with no boasting please).
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