Advent 2: Post

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Post early for Christmas © Southampton Old Lady

British are obsessed with the post at Christmas. Cards to places like Australia and Canada can take a while via Royal Mail, so you have to make sure you “Post early for Christmas.” In England it is also expected that you give greeting cards to those they see every day. People can get genuinely upset if they are “off your Christmas card list” – which has become a phrase meaning that you no longer wish to associate with someone any more. The first year I resorted to email cards rather than one through the post I upset some very old friends. I have usually made my own Christmas cards and included a ’round robin’ (newsletter).

As well as cards there are parcels of presents to be posted to nieces, nephews, cousins, aunts and so on. Online Christmas shopping has made all that easier.

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12 thoughts on “Advent 2: Post

  1. Yes, e cards is a hard one, isn’t it, especially now the post is so prohibitively expensive. I have sent them, but people don’t like them, and they’re not as much fun as real living, touchable cards. Round Robins are a touchy subject too, since Simon Hoggart’s books about them. I have to admit that a particularly dire sentence from one friend’s missives made its way into the pages of one of his books.

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  2. I use to spend a fortune on Christmas cards as soon as they came out, justifying it as a donation to charity, sending them to just about everybody I knew including everyone in a large department at work. Most included a round robin as I didn’t actually see most of these people very often if at all. Now most of my winters are spent abroad and I just don’t send any. I wish everyone Merry Christmas on Facebook and Twitter and that will have to do. And it’s very liberating!

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    • I used to love doing Christmas cards but I receive so many now from acquaintances I don’t really know and have to decipher the names of their children (or they might be their dogs and cats for all I know) it’s just not fun. Worst is ones from insurance companies and one once from a funeral director.

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  3. I remember the days of hundreds of cards. That seems out of favor, now. I send paper cards to relatives and close friends, to people overseas, and especially to older people who like having something to touch, hold, and put on the refrigerator. If I send a real card, I always take time to add just a note, too. It’s nice for older people, especially, to be able to go back and re-read the card in January — or in July, when they find it again, tucked beneath a book somewhere.

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