Wednesday, 10 December 2014

Bah, humbug!

Old Henry Cole really started something back in 1843 when he produced the world's first Christmas card.  I rather suppose that there were no greetings cards of any description before then - birthday cards, mothers' day cards, Easter cards, get well cards, the whole gamut of the multi-million pound industry that has grown up.  To my mind, grown up too far.

This was the card produced by Sir Henry Cole
Now, I have nothing against sending Christmas greetings to other people; I'm not quite that much of an old curmudgeon.  Frankly, I don't even mind the cost of Christmas cards.  I saw some on sale in Asda yesterday at 10 for a pound.  Not exactly elegant cards, but at 10p each, what can one expect?  Even Henry Cole's card sold at a shilling each, which is 5p in our new-fangled decimal currency.  Blooming expensive back then!  But then, postage was (I think) only one penny.  That's 1d, not 1p (which is 2 1/2d).  Today, it costs 63p to send a card.  That's 12/6 in "real" money!  Twelve shillings and sixpence!  It's daylight robbery!  All the same, I am, if not happy, at least prepared to pay that to send cards to Aunty Fanny in Birkenhead and cousin George in Melton Mowbray - well, I would be if I had an Aunty Fanny and a cousin George.  But friends and relatives in other parts of the country.

What I do find quite inexplicable is the need felt by most people to give cards to everybody they have ever met.  Well, maybe that is a slight exaggeration, but it always puzzles me why we feel we must give cards to people we see frequently.  You know what it's like; you go to a do of some sort and start handing Christmas cards to everybody you know while they are busy doing the same thing.  Why can't we just shake each other by the hand and say that we wish them a Merry Christmas?

Bah, humbug!

4 comments:

joeh said...

I need for you to have a talk with my wife. She sends to anyone the has ever met. I would prefer to just say Merry Christmas on Facebook and get it over that way.

(not necessarily your) Uncle Skip, said...

There are a few I've met that I like to send cards.
As it is, I could probably send over 100... if I weren't too lazy to address that many envelopes and sign my name that many times.

Sarah said...

I'm terrible at sending cards - I buy them and then put it off until the last minute. I don't send many though so I do invest in some really nice ones (shame they are often still sitting in my drawer on Christmas Eve ...)

Mike @ A Bit About Britain said...

And many of us are probably guilty of sending cards to people we haven't seen all year and are unlikely to see again unless one party gets of their backside and does something about it.