Last week, we received an envelope containing a Christmas card. Upon opening it, I found a £5 note enclosed in the card; It was from a parishioner. Miss JV is a 90 year old spinster who lives in one of our parishes. Every Christmas, she gives us a card with a £5 note enclosed.
As an OAP (old aged pensioner), the £5 must mean a lot to her as it can buy one many things. For the Mhinisteir and I, it is a very humbling experience.
Last year we bought a second hand book and attached her Christmas card to it so that in years to come, when we pick up that book from our library, we will remember Miss JV and her kindness towards us.
We haven’t quite decided what to buy this year but it will be something that will help us to remember the wonderful Miss JV.
On Monday, the Mhinisteir and I went out to get fuel for the car. Our old car was desperately needing a good run too. We are now in Tier 4 so we had to be mindful of our actions. The fuel station was located about 30 minutes from our Vicarage. I never got out of the car while the Mhinisteir filled the car and paid for it at the little kiosk instead of going inside the wee shop to pay.
While waiting, I decided to look around and saw a Halfords. What I saw next was unbelievable! I saw a couple with a baby going into Halfords. Why on earth would you want to bring a baby out to Halfords while living under Tier 4 rules????!!!!! I decided to give them the benefit of the doubt but then there were another 2 cars that arrived with the whole family. Mum, Dad plus two children!!!! I concluded that because they were bored stiff at home they decided to make a family outing to Halfords!!!!!
On Monday, We received our first Christmas card for 2020! Since then we have received two other cards.
I never send out Christmas cards. I wait until January before I write to people with my New year cards!
Previously I started my card writing in September to post in December as we had hundreds of Christmas cards to send and we received hundreds too. The truth is there is never enough time to read the cards properly and it is also difficult to keep track of the senders.
In Scotland, especially up in the Highlands there are some protestant Christians who don’t celebrate Christmas because of the Reformation so what they do is send New Year cards. In fact, you will be able to find New Year cards in selected bookshops!
Anyway, I borrowed that idea not because we don’t celebrate Christmas but because December is a month of party and celebrations, January tends to be bleak and so I decided that a nice little surprise in the post in January will not go amiss!
As I was going through the piles of Christmas cards that we have received this year, I couldn’t help noticing that most of the cards that we received at the Vicarage were bought from Tesco, Sainsbury or Morrisons. Only a handful were from independent card shops.
Many years ago, we would only buy our Christmas cards from card shops especially Christian ones. I used to buy mine from the Church of Scotland bookshop in 121 George Street when I used to live in Edinburgh. However gone are those shops. I then started making my own when we lived in the highlands.
This year, I bought my cards from Mothers Union as I like my cards to have a bible verse.
This was the feedback I received after someone received my Christmas card with my Calligraphy hand writing. I was initially shocked but I imagine insane to be the millennial equivalent for impressive?!
Just last week, my hairdresser remarked about my Calligraphy writing and since then a few others have also commented.
Maybe I am finally getting better at it?? I am quite encouraged that my practice has actually paid off and I hope to keep at it and get even better.
I have just been told that I am not to be making any handmade cards for Christmas this year!!!! As you can imagine, I am not happy but the Mhinisteir does have a point. Given my health condition, it is going to take a lot out of me.
I don’t usually send out Christmas cards. Instead I send out New year cards. Back in Scotland , the ultra conservative Christians don’t send Christmas cards as they are of the view that Christmas is a pagan festival.
My reason for sending new year cards is very different reason. It is purely based on personal experience. At Christmas, here at the vicarage we receive hundreds of Christmas cards. I often feel that we are not able to appreciate or read them thoughtfully given that December is a very busy month.
I also noticed that after the hustle and bustle of Christmas, January becomes a very quiet month and you hardly receive anything in the post. Furthermore sending a New year card means that I can personally thank those who had sent us a Christmas card.
So these are my reasons for sending a new year card but this year I just have to settle for shop bought Christmas cards.