This article appeared in the December 2018 issue of our Parish Magazine.
At this time of year countless charities, companies and other organisations try to boost their coffers buy persuading people like you and me to buy their Christmas cards. We will spend good money on such cards. (Personally, I will only buy “charity” cards.) I know that it takes me a good few hours to write my cards, guided by my book detailing who I sent to last year, who sent to me, whether to include a “round robin” annual letter, sometimes signing on behalf of husband and family, sometimes parenting them with a stack for them to sign in person. Next follows a trip to the post office to buy UK, Europe and USA stamps. I always miss the USA posting date, but nevertheless the cards seem to get there on time.
As incoming cards are delivered by the postie, I Blu-Tak them to the beams in the living room. I save the stamps for the leprosy mission, shred the part of the envelope bearing our address, and the rest goes into the general waste. After all, envelopes cannot be accepted for recycling.
In January (sometimes February, and on occasion March) I spend an evening updating my Christmas card log and slicing the cards in half. Those with blank space are put in a basket in the kitchen for use as shopping lists. The rest goes into the recycling bag.
Don’t get me wrong. I love Christmas cards and the messages they convey. I look forward to receiving those annual letters from friends of long ago. But I have nagging doubts about the “eco-ethics” of so much paper and card being circulated and ultimately thrown away.
There has to be a better way.
Your parish Eco Group has a suggestion. What if we each give one card addressed to the entire Church Family? What if these cards are displayed in our churches for the congregations to see and read? Our festive wishes and blessings would automatically be extended to those at services we don’t usually attend as well as those we see in church each week. Our churches would look even more beautiful. The amount of time, money, paper and card expended at this time would be dramatically cut. Our little bit of Mother Earth would heave a little sigh of relief.
No one is obliged to to this. If you still wish to write individual Christmas cards, then please do. If anyone is gracious enough to send one to me – even after reading this article! – then I will be truly grateful. But please do not be offended that you do not receive an individual card from me in return. I will be sending one Community Christmas Card to the entire Church Family – which includes you!
Advent and Christmas blessings,