I know this is going to be contentious but here it goes. In Ireland over the last 10 years there has been a growing push by charities asking people to donate to a charity and not post or send Christmas Cards. Why are they doing this?
There are many people and not just older people who look forward to getting Christmas cards in the post. The card pops through the letter box usually with a Christmas postage stamp, the envelope hand written and inside there is a personal greeting.
Please pause a moment and thing back to the last time you received a personal greeting through the post? Let’s face it the occasion very rarely happens. With the advent of paperless billing the volume of post has dropped. Isn’t it good to receive that personal greeting?
Isn’t it wonderful to think that a friend, a colleague, a neighbour, a family member has taken the time to choose a card, write a greeting, address the envelope and then post it. Isn’t it good to feel that even for a short time you were important to that person?
I attended a workshop during the year and a young lad asked me if I sent cards at Christmas. “Of course,” I replied “but why are you asking”? I learnt that this young lad has a chronic illness and at times it results in anxiety and depression. When his energy is low and he feels his anxiety rising he will take out one of the Christmas cards he received and remind himself that he is important.
This conversation has remained with me. We just never know how the simple gesture of sending a Christmas card can impact on someone. I am sure there are many other examples of the smiles that a Christmas card can evoke.
Then there are the people who make their own Christmas cards who not only get a great buzz of making those cards but who also make others feel very important. The hours which are spent choosing designs, paper and finally putting it all together before actually sitting down to write the personal greeting.
Many people send cards which they have purchased from specific charities knowing that the money is going back to that charity. These charities range from Children’s hospital to animal welfare. The money from those cards are important to those charities.
Can I ask a question of those charities who are asking people to donate rather than sending out Christmas cards? Why do you not ask people to consider donating the cost of an extra Christmas present? Why are charities not at Easter time asking people to stop buying Easter Eggs and instead donating the money to charity? There has grown the tradition of the 12 Pubs at Christmas in Ireland. Why have the charities not targeted that?
These charities that ask us to donate instead of sending cards should really consider the impact this has on those who receive these Christmas cards.