Christmas cards

Have Christmas cards had their day?

The festive season brings with it many enjoyably trivial decisions to fret over. Sprouts with or without chestnuts and bacon? To tastefully colour-scheme the Christmas tree or throw every garish bauble at it? Presents before or after lunch? This year, however, I have another decision to make and it’s one that I’m finding surprisingly tough: to write Christmas cards or just let that tradition… go? Usually by this point in December I’m scribbling away, determined to get my 70-odd cards written and sent while they can still reach their destinations with a second-class stamp. (Let’s not mention the foreign cards; they always arrive late.) While it does sometimes feel like a

The art of the Christmas card

It’s the thin end of the wedge, the slippery slope, the beginning of the end of a civilised Christmas. It is the first week of December and I still haven’t started my cards. My friend Charlotte was at it in October. She signed up for a lino-cutting class, cut holly boughs and robin redbreasts and printed her own cards. She sent me photos of the fruits (berries?) of her labours and very merry they were, too. Usually, I am a Charlotte. By November, I have made cards, addressed envelopes, applied thumbs to 80 stamps. But after an illness in the autumn, I’m feeling as uncreative as a turkey. Could I