Posted by: learningwoman | December 20, 2007

Christmas Cards ‘n stuff

So this morning, I was sitting at the kitchen table, writing Christmas cards to our neighbours, while S. wrote a card to go with a gift for his teacher. A. asked me what I was doing and when I told him, he stared at me blankly.

“Do we do cards?” He asked, seemingly amazed by the idea.

“Yep, we do” I said, concentrating

“We haven’t given cards for years though, why now?”

“Actually, we give cards every year. Not to the world at large, but to our neighbours and friends.”

Bless him, he hadn’t realised and to be fair, I guess he’s had no indication that it’s been happening. Unless you count the fact that every year, I bundle the kids up and we walk around our neighbourhood distributing them……

I do limit the number of cards I write, it’s true. Not because I can’t be bothered but because I can’t bear to write the ubiquitous ‘Dear……., Merry Christmas, Love, ……..”

If I’m going to write them at all, I want them to be real messages from us to them. I want each one to reflect how important they are to us and how glad I am that they’re in our lives. The problem isn’t finding things to say, it’s limiting the amount I write.

Writing Christmas cards has a way of focusing my mind on the people to whom I’m writing them, so that I feel a rush of tenderness and warmth and I want to tell them.

As you can imagine then, it isn’t a matter of sitting down and dashing off a few thousand cards before breakfast.

I’ve tried the whole, writing a newsy letter, printing it many times and inserting it into the card but it didn’t feel right for me. I’ve tried writing many, many cards, longhand, over many days. I’ve tried not writing them at all.

Now I compromise. (Quite a common theme here) 🙂

Anyway, S. wrote a lovely card to his teacher and we wrapped his gift- a box of chocolates- with beautiful paper and ribbon. He was happy and went off to school with his Dad, skipping.

Which led me to think about the gifts teachers receive.

Now, at first glance, it seems fabulous! Thirty kids, each bringing a gift for their teacher. Ohh..

However, I was a Nanny once and have had opportunity to observe first hand the sorts of gifts that are given, it often fell to my lot to wrap them. Strange, twisted, purple candles from the pound shop seemed to feature heavily for some reason.

Now I’m a mother myself, I understand completely. Amongst the havoc that Christmas preparations wreak on my (loose) routine, finding a present for Miss R, tailored especially to her, has fallen by the wayside and we’ve given her chocolate…..again!

 Oh well, it’s nice for the kids to get into the rhythm of Christmas. S’s Christmas cards have been written and given out weeks ago. One to every kid in his class. Long they were too, with much writing and wishes of joy.

Lest you think I’m being a Stepford mother, let me say that it had nothing to do with me. He came home one day and asked me whether we could go and buy some Christmas cards and then, over two evenings, he lay on his tummy on the loungeroom floor, tongue slightly out, forehead wrinkled in concentration, writing to his friends.

He wrote their names on the envelope, packed them into his school bag and then gave them out before school.

He regularly amazes me, my boy. I’m so proud of him, funny little thing that he is. 🙂 

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Responses

  1. I feel the same way about cards. I rarely send them out to anyone other than a handful of people I actually have something to say to. If it truly is the thought that counts, there should be real thought involved, yes? 😉

  2. My thought exactly… 🙂

  3. Just FYI, Teachers like gift cards!!!!!!!

  4. Thanks OurDebtBlog, I’ll keep it in mind for next year! 🙂


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