It's time to stand up and say NO! That's right, it's time. For far too many years we've been forced by huge corporations, our own consumerist society and the invisible strength of peer pressure to do it.
It's expensive, boring and annoyingly time consuming. It contributes absolutely nothing of worth to the world or our lives as we know them and is worthless in a very short time.
This activity does not feed us, pleasure us or entertain us; nor does it bring families together, further our knowledge or encourage us to be better human beings. It contributes to the waste of environmental resources, landfill and wastes precious fuel and funds on transportation and delivery.
Perhaps most annoyingly, it is something that women invariably end up doing without any interest or offers of help by our men. Most of us wonder, at some stage in our long term relationships, just what our fellas did about this tradition before they met us because they sure as hell haven't bothered to do anything about it since then. And I'm not talking about the ironing, prompt nose hair trimming or the provision of 5-star quality rumpy-pumpy.
Have you guessed what I'm standing up for yet? CHRISTMAS CARDS. Those pesky little folded squares of cardboard that have been filling up letterboxes since mid-November. Most of them come from the cheap 30-packs for $4.99, so your bookshelf or mantelpiece is festooned with dodgy 1960s photos of baubles, or worse still, those god-awful paintings of Christmas trees in the snow with the three wise men puzzlingly standing alongside.
As for the message inside, if it just has "To The MillyMoo Family" and their scrawled signature inside, I don't know whether to be relieved or offended. Despite the brevity, I tend to feel relieved that it doesn't contain those horrible photocopied chain letters of "What the Side Bottom-Johanssens did this year" because nothing says 'I personally care about you' more than a mass printout, does it? On the other hand, should I be offended because we weren't even worth the fifteen seconds required to scrawl out an additional hand-written sentence along the lines of "Must catch up soon - have a great 2008” ?
No matter where you display the damn things, they always end up on the floor when someone opens the door. If they're slung over a ribbon across the window the force of gravity eventually lures them to the lowest point so that it looks like you've only got one friend who sent you a card because all the others are hiding underneath.
And there's the real truth: we only bother to buy, write and post Christmas cards because we want some back. We yearn for these tacky little rectangles so that we can reassure ourselves that we are indeed popular, that everyone loves us and we're running out of space to display these symbols of respect and admiration. That’s the real truth and I know it because that's why I've been doing it. Up until now.
If we're all honest with ourselves, most of our closest mates are either living in the same town or have email, so the traditional Christmas card is obsolete. It has instead been replaced by emailed jokes or those 'Please DO NOT DELETE - eight-year old limbless Cletus from Idaho will die from cancer without having met his retarded birth mother and jailed father and only eat a dry corn cob for his Christmas dinner (by sucking it of course, seeing as he has no limbs) if you do not pass this on within twenty four hours.' By sending these without any other text of your own, it's cyber shorthand for 'Hey, you're still my friend but I'm too busy/can't be shagged to write to you right now, but enjoy the joke.'
That's the real truth too, isn't it? Perhaps I should make a stand on two issues - a) no sending Christmas cards and b) no sending on silly jokes unless I genuinely have a laugh when I first read it. Who wants to join me on this political stance?
Besides, with the money and time you save, you can instead enjoy these precious babies: