Each year we look forward with genuine pleasure to receiving Christmas cards from friends and acquaintances both here and overseas.
In particular from our very close friends, but also those who we perhaps knew for only a short time, or with whom we shared special moments in years gone by, because often Christmas is the only time of the year when we refresh that past bond.
But as time goes by, so the number of cards received diminishes commensurately with our advancing years – understandable perhaps, as unfortunately we all succumb to our mortality at some point and lose friends along the way.
But even taking that into consideration, we are told more and more by our contacts that cards will not now be sent and a donation will be made instead to a chosen charity; as if one is connected to the other in some mysterious way.
Why is it an either/or consideration?
Add to this the increased use of e-greetings and those strings of festive cards hanging over the fireplace, stair banister and on walls – so familiar in times gone by – sadly shrink with each passing year.
With the escalating cost of postage and cards, it becomes an added financial burden and is understandably a consideration for some. Plus the effort of sitting down and taking the time and trouble to write a few words in each and address envelopes, is time consuming and taxing.
But isn’t that the point?
To demonstrate to our friends that we have spared time, expense and effort to write a few words of greeting and to show them that we are thinking of them at Christmas, is surely what makes it special.
I often wonder if perhaps in some cases, the charity donation thing is a convenient get-out from the whole process and is simply designed to placate disappointed friends and relatives.
Perhaps we are in the minority, but to us maintaining links with the people who have touched our lives in some way during our years on this Earth, is of huge importance.
We shall continue to donate to the various charities here in the Costa throughout the year whenever we can, but we will always hold close the true spirit of Christmas and maintain that physical link with our many friends worldwide at this special time.