Tis the season to be giving...

IS THERE anything more uncharitable at this time of the year than handing over a Christmas card to be told: "Um, Penelope and I are not sending Christmas cards this year. We've decided to give the money to charity.”

Did I mishear? Does the song say: “Tis the season to be sanctimonious.”

Yes. There will always be causes which would better benefit from your cash than card shops.

But it’s Christmas, it’s only once a year. Shouldn’t we British be preserving our noble traditions of meaningless, hollow gestures?

And if it’s the environment you’re concerned about, you’d better hand back that 8ft Norway Spruce, start wrapping your presents in brown paper and learn to juggle bags (for life), because you won’t be needing your gas-guzzling Chelsea Tractor on the Christmas supermarket run this year.

I say this, because it is possible to still give Christmas cards and give to charity.

Kendal Library has the answer – charity Christmas cards – St John’s Hospice, Parkinsons UK, the NSPCC and the 1959 Group of Charities.

Any close family member who tells me: “We’re giving the money to charity,” is guaranteed to suffer.

“Your birthday card? Oh I've given the money to charity along with the £10 I put inside. I know how giving you are, see, and through your self-sacrifice, we are making a better world, together.”

Simply saying: “We’re giving the money to charity,” doesn’t mean they are, either.

It sounds like the sort of lie you might deploy if caught in that awkward Christmas card faux pas.

That]s where they’ve got you one but you haven’t got them one, and they turn up. So one of you has to keep them talking while the other pretends to go to the loo on the pretext of finding a working pen.

At this time of year, my brain also involuntarily manages to remember Christmas cards given but not reciprocated when the other half is writing them out. “What we giving them one for? Oh I see. As a subtle but pointed reminder of their own lack of generosity.”

Comments (1)

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11:00am Wed 19 Dec 12

Kendmoor says...

People give up christmas cards to give to charity? You should be thankful you know people who even do that! We're lucky if we manage to give a few out and even then they're banged together (handmade) in a few seconds and go to a the closest of family. Expensive time of year this - especially when people EXPECT to be given christmas cards and presents, you know who your true friends are when they remain your friends after several christmas' of no cards or presents ;)
I'm not sure which is more hollow and meaningless - that 'multipack' card posted through the letterbox from a friend or relative that never comes round but contacts you once a year to let you know they've been to homebargains christmas section..or that friend or relative that actually comes round to spend time with you!
People give up christmas cards to give to charity? You should be thankful you know people who even do that! We're lucky if we manage to give a few out and even then they're banged together (handmade) in a few seconds and go to a the closest of family. Expensive time of year this - especially when people EXPECT to be given christmas cards and presents, you know who your true friends are when they remain your friends after several christmas' of no cards or presents ;) I'm not sure which is more hollow and meaningless - that 'multipack' card posted through the letterbox from a friend or relative that never comes round but contacts you once a year to let you know they've been to homebargains christmas section..or that friend or relative that actually comes round to spend time with you! Kendmoor
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