Trouble with cards

The worst is over. At least we have passed the winter solstice. The shortest day has gone and from now on the daylight hours will begin to increase. Many years ago, I scratched a line on our slate sunroom floor on the shortest day. It shows where the sun gets to and as the sun is very low this week the light almost reaches the far wall. It is surprising how accurate it is and how I can predict the light stretch – but it does not work if the sun is not shining of course.

Not that I have had the time this week to look out of the window very much because I have been writing our Christmas cards. I know I am hopelessly late and with the postal strikes I do not have much chance of them getting there before the 25th. To add to my troubles, I only have second class stamps. It might be better if I gave up my struggles, but these stamps were sold by the machine in the Post Office, and they do not have a bar code on. This means that they must be used before the end of January next year. So, if I do not use them, I have wasted my money.

I am trying to write a message on my cards, but I am in touch with friends and relatives on social media or email, so I am trying to think of anything they do not know. Every morning I sit doggedly at the kitchen table amongst the coffee cups and I begin to write. I have several piles. One is for blank cards; one is for finished cards and one is for cards half done but waiting for a message to be written.

How do you shorten your Christmas card list? I have done batches online to groups of friends. I have tried only sending cards to people who send me one and I have tried telling everyone I am giving to charity instead. But none of the tactics work. I start to feel guilty when the flood of cards arrives in our box and there is always the lonely or elderly relative who looks forward to the routine. So, on I go again.

One card my cousin received was very welcome. It was celebrating their sapphire wedding anniversary. They have been married for sixty-five years. I remember the wedding in our little chapel and have the photo of us all on the chapel steps. My mother made the wedding dress and my sister’s bridesmaid dress.

“I’ve had a card from the King,” said my cousin. It eclipsed all the cards she ever had.

(Taken from my column in the Shropshire Star) 


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