Christmas cards vs. Facebook

Happy Christmas!

Happy Christmas!

This is the Christmas card I drew and sent this year, but which also threw me into a frenzy of confusion about Christmas card etiquette.

When I was growing up there were two sorts of Christmas card givers and you had to pick a side. One set of people gave a card to everyone they knew, including everyone in their class at school and as they grew up all their work colleagues. The second set, to which I attached myself, sent cards to people they’d not seen in a while as a way to keep in touch (and, ocassionally in my case, totally failed to send cards altogether).

Then there’s the cards. Some people use cards as a way to demonstrate their charitable affiliations, some send tasteful, some send funny, some send religious and so on. I decided to send handmade cards wherever possible, and recently handmade cards that make me laugh, and saw this as one of the benefits of my small distribution group. The downside, of course, was that the people I saw a lot in my close circle of friends wouldn’t get the amazing works of genius I created.

One year I experimented with Christmas e-cards and in some ways that was the most successful (although I still fear some of my friends didn’t realise I knew the pictures were rubbish) because I could distribute the cards so widely and relatively unobtrusively. Sure, it broke my distribution rule, but the cards made be laugh so it was OK.

All this has changed with the rise of Facebook. Now, many of the people on my traditional Christmas card list are friends on Facebook and I increasingly feel I am in touch with them without the need for a card once a year. Why a card for the friend I chat to on Facebook but not the friend I chat to in the pub? It is of course great that I am now so much more in touch with these friends, but, as a result, this year’s card giving has been totally lacking in logic or thought. It has also been fraught with the potential to offend and confuse the people who’ve received or not received.

It’s clear I need a new policy. I’ve eleven months to think of one.

3 Replies to “Christmas cards vs. Facebook”

  1. Hi Jemima

    Since I recently outed myself as a reader of your blog I thought I might as well leave a comment. Just to say that I love your card and only realised a little while afterwards that it wasn’t a “real” one. I think it’s a really nice idea making your own cards (although I have enough Christmas cards left over to last me next Christmas probably, so maybe I’ll wait until 2011 to follow suit – and with much less success).

    Merry Christmas !

    Lauren xx

  2. Oh goodness, it hadn’t even occurred to me that there was a distinction of ‘realness’ attached with bought vs. handmade cards. Another factor to consider.

    Sarah says I get far more pleasure from making the cards than anyone gets from receiving them and I think she’s right. I get very pleased with myself and laugh a lot.

    Happy Christmas!

  3. Handmade is better obviously! By real I meant commercially manufactured.

    There was something on the news recently about whether we should all wrap our presents in newspaper to save waste. A good idea, but a little bit sad…I’ve decided to go half way and do what my Nan used to do (and we all laughed at her for it) and try to save and reuse bits of wrapping paper by carefully opening my pressies! Should also have the added benefit of prolonging the excitement as I slowly pick away at the sellotape.

    Our new house is FREEZING so think my carbon footprint is going through the roof as we crank up the heating – so I have to think of other ways to be good.

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