Saturday, 1 November 2008
Now It's November...
...and assuming that you haven't done so already, you might want to give a thought to Christmas cards.
Yes, I know that it's almost indecently early, but the problem is finding any good Christmas cards nearer the time. First of all, most of the cards in the shop have very little to do with Christmas... robins, snowmen and holly abound, as do Christmas trees. But trying to find actual Christmas cards is like trying to find hens' teeth. The variety packs in various shops might have a small handful of religious cards among the dross, but if, like me, you refuse on principle to send any non-religious cards, then that's rather a lot of variety pack cards heading for the dustbin (sorry, did I say dustbin? I meant "recycling centre"!)
The other problem is that "charriddy" cards have become very, very popular. This seems like a good idea... until you look a little more closely at the charities concerned. The majority are the sort of organisations with which, as a practising Catholic, I do not wish to be associated. The Parkinson's Disease Society, for example, supports embryonic stem cell research. The Cystic Fibrosis Society supports pre-natal testing. I could go on, but you'll have got the general drift...
Hence the need to get the cards sorted early... last year I left it too late, and all the best designs were out of stock. This year I noticed that Aid to the Church in Need has a good selection of cards, as well as small decorations and rosaries made by Christians in Bethlehem and the Holy Land (and they've been having a tough time of it lately.) You can even order them online!
And, of course, SPUC has a great selection of cards available, a particularly apposite charity to consider when preparing to celebrate the birthday of the God who became a baby for our salvation.
So, go on... you know you want to... And don't worry, you don't need to start writing them just yet...!