Monday, 1 December 2014

Dispensing with a Victorian Tradition

Many historians view the Victorian era as one of great progress and invention.  Hmmm, I don’t know about ‘great’ although it was undoubtedly a time of huge change but my personal (and probably minority) opinion is that a lot of it was not for the good, certainly not long-term.  Although we’ve moved on from a few Victorian technological improvements such as lead-filled paint, the mangle and gas lamps, and generally no-one puts small children up chimneys any more, the 19th century left us with one set of Victorian rituals and ’traditions’ that very few families (and even fewer businesses) would want to dispense with - Christmas.

I’m well aware that the Christmas Tree as we know it came into our homes thanks to Prince Albert and I spent a happy few hours this evening assembling ours, but another holiday ‘tradition’ which is an intrinsic part of our festive season is the Christmas Card.  Since 1843 people have been using cards as a way of sending greetings to all their friends and family without having to write numerous individual letters.  And since 1960-whatever when I was old enough to do my own cards, I too have selected and sent jolly robins, and santas, and snowmen, and goodness knows what else to my nearest and dearest.  Mostly I have enjoyed the process but in the last couple of years that has not been the case; it has become a nuisance, tiresome, a burden, and in truth an absolute flippin' pain because I feel that I cannot relax and “get on with the fun stuff” until the chore of cards has been dealt with.

So I’m not going to do it any more.  I have totted up roughly the cost of cards and stamps, added a chunk to factor in what my time is worth, and made a ruddy great big donation to Animal Care in Lancaster, without whom we would not have Daisy. 

So Season’s Greetings one and all … I’m off for a mince pie, some mulled wine and a sit down in front of the fire :}





No Daisy's were hurt in the making of this blog post.
Stupid hat posing lasted barely a few seconds.
Numerous mini-milkbones were offered to the confused model.



16 comments:

  1. I've got mine down to just 15. I hate doing them, especially the ones that require 'a few lines' in them. I may have the courage to do away with them completely in a year or two. I'm almost sorry you have though - that picture of Daisy, above, is a xmas card waiting to happen! :-)

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    1. Hello J, you're confusing me with this Wanda persona :-}

      You are spot on with the courage thing, I nearly did this last year but bottled out. The ones which need "a few lines" are absolutely the hardest, and the ones that don't are hardly worth the bother.

      Thanks for the nice comment about the photo, much appreciated.

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    2. No, *you* are confusing *me* with J - I am my own Wanda persona :-) Not commented before, I'm a new reader - Oh, I think I know what happened, I 'follow' John's blog in my profile. Generally, I'm more of a lurker than a follower, but John got all needy and had a recruitment drive last year - lol....I found my way here from there - I'm a sucker for a dog blog :-) ....I hope you don't mind.....

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    3. Yep, that's exactly what this idiot here has done, it was late when I picked up your comment. Very well done to you for working out who I was confusing you with :}

      Of course I don't mind you being a sucker for a dog-blog (me too), you are very welcome. Look forward to getting to know you (as much as one can in blog comments :-} )

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  2. it's important to do what feels right and if people drop out of your life for want of a Christmas card then they weren't really worth taking the writing and stamp licking time over! Funnily enough we've gone the opposite way since having E and after about 7 years of not sending Christmas cards (yet still receiving over 40 each year, some people out there seem to love the process!) we've started sending them. I guess it's because we know people are interested in the little fella and it's as good a time as any to share an update on how he's doing. We also had a Christmas tree for the first time in 10 years last year!

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    1. Nic, I think Christmas changes during different phases of our lives. As new parents you have got some terrific times ahead and it's quite right you would want to share that with loved ones.

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  3. Well Jayne, it seems you've been having same thoughts as me, but lo and behold I got my first 2 cards today in the post and now I'm confused as to what to do. Most of mine go to UK and the postage is $2.70 per card, so think I'll send family ones in a batch and they can hand them out to each other. ( maybe!). As for the Xmas tree, sometimes one goes up if any of the grandkids are coming, but this year we are going down to Melbourne, so I'll think about that one. Hubby thinks Xmas these days is just a commercial thing. Love the photo of Daisy and take care.

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    1. Hi Susan, have you not missed the last UK posting date? I suppose if you're not going to be at home for the holiday then decorations are a bit redundant.

      Hubby is quite right - for Christians there doesn't seem to be much Christ in C-mas these days, but is it hypocritical for other faiths to participate? Or do they have no choice, given that the entire country seems to go into commercialism melt-down?

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  4. Great shot of Daisy, love it! I usually send cards but also mostly hate the process of writing them and usually cut down every year. I do like getting them though which is not logical! I haven't had a tree now for a few years either. I love not having one (although I do miss the scent of one in the house) and I also love not having to take it down come January. Lots of fairy lights and a few other christmassy bits will do for me.

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    1. Morning Jill, artificial tree here. We didn't have one until a few years ago when M's Mum and Aunty came for the holiday but we now love it.

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  5. Good for you, if something doesn't work for you then why continue to do it?

    I sometimes send cards and sometimes don't. I've slimmed my list down by only sending them where I know they will be appreciated. We're still fairly new to celebrating Christmas, for the first few years we were together we didn't bother with a tree or anything, so now we pick and choose the bits we like.

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    1. Welcome Ms. Thrift, thank you so much for bothering to comment. When there's just two of you why not pick and choose and make your own traditions? That's what Management and I have done.

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  6. I do agree with you about some card sending being a waste of time, but I must admit, I love sending, and receiving them. Having said that, each year I trim the list a little although I can't seem to stop buying enough for the list of about 10 years ago, so in reality I shouldn't need to buy any for a few years. I can't seem to stop myself though. I also agree with the commenters who said that photo of Santa's little helper Daisy is a Christmas card waiting to happen.

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    1. You're absolutely right Sue, and it's a contradiction but like you I love receiving cards :} However, if I stop sending them I won't expect to receive many in the future. Perhaps now that we have so many other means of communication at our disposal the 'annual missive' has become a little redundant.

      Glad you liked the photo - I suspect Daisy has forgiven me!

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  7. Oh, how I know that feeling. There've been a number of years when nobody heard from me. This year, though, I think they'll be going out. Some people only hear from me once a year and they don't know we've moved.

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    1. Hi Sue, good luck getting all your cards done :} At least these days with email, blogs, FB and other social media it's easier to keep in touch than it used to be (in which case, why I am so utterly rubbish and have some messages in my Inbox which are MONTHS old and still awaiting a reply . . . )

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So there I am, chuntering on to myself, but it would be lovely to hear from you. Thanks to all who take the time to comment - it makes my day :)

and I always delete spam - my blog, my rules :-}