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Giving to charity instead of sending cards - good idea or cop out?

(164 Posts)
m0therofdragons Tue 22-Dec-15 17:35:34

A close relative emailed today saying he's not doing Christmas cards and will give the money to charity instead. I'm actually a bit miffed. To me, Christmas cards that I post are to say to those people "I may not see you in my everyday life but I still care about you and think of you and you're worth the effort and cost." This relative used to be close but circumstances have changed and we've drifted so it feels like he's pulling further away. I'm also annoyed for my elderly grandmother as he won't be sending her one either and he's asked me to let her know as she doesn't have email. Most of her friends are dead and she's always supported him with generous gifts and her time and a card would matter to her.
I'm not saying charities aren't deserving but I can manage to give to charity and send a few cards to those I love.
I can understand it for people you see regularly as I've said merry Christmas to my friends so not sending a card wouldn't matter as I can show them my love for them in other ways.
It just feels like a showy off "aren't I good" type gesture when actually it's a bit crap.
Iabu? Are Christmas cards a thing of the past?

Thingsthatmakeugoummmm Tue 22-Dec-15 17:37:41

I'm hoping it's a thing of the past. I can sort of see the point of sending a card to people you do not see but really cannot see why u would send a close friend or colleague a card!

seagreengirl Tue 22-Dec-15 17:39:07

It's a cop out, I really miss Christmas cards.

thelaundryfairy Tue 22-Dec-15 17:40:03

I agree with ummmm. I would prefer to give to charity. If I haven´t made the effort to contact someone throughout the year, then I don´t think sending a Christmas card will make up for it. I would also prefer my friends and relatives to donate to the charity of their choice than to send us a Christmas card which will just go in the recycling bin on 6th January.

Samcro Tue 22-Dec-15 17:42:17

i hate it, people always wait until people have sent theirs, then they go on FB and say this stuff.
I doubt most really give the money to charity, they won't tott up the real expense, just bung a couple of quid. its a lazy cop out.

GreatFuckability Tue 22-Dec-15 17:42:23

I do it. A cop out in what sense? I send an email or text or facebook message to say which charity I've chosen. Its showing people i think of them without wasting money on chopping down more trees.

kinkytoes Tue 22-Dec-15 17:44:45

At least they're donating instead. My friend put on Facebook no cards but no mention of doing anything else! I agree with you though OP. It's nice to show you're thinking of someone at Christmas and that is why I still send cards.

hefzi Tue 22-Dec-15 17:44:48

I don't think you're being unreasonable: but with the perpetual online culture, I think cards are used less - people seem to think a text or message on FB is the same. It's a huge shame for those who are isolated by age or circumstance, not to mention those charities who benefit when people buy their cards. It takes a lot more thought and effort to write a card, even when you haven't seen someone recently, and is more meaningful as a result.

And yes, it's perfectly possible both to send cards and donate to charity!

MissBattleaxe Tue 22-Dec-15 17:45:58

I think it's nice to always send cards to elderly relatives or lonely people but I personally don't mind when people do the charity thing.

Warmworm Tue 22-Dec-15 17:46:06

I don't give cards any more, neither do I care much for receiving them. I give my stamp money to charity instead, you can buy dinner for a homeless person from crisis for about the same amount. I think cards are a waste of resources and they just clutter up the place. Plus I hate writing them. I guess I'd rather call or email those that matter to me and who I don't see regularly at another time of the year when I'm less busy.

SirChenjin Tue 22-Dec-15 17:46:44

I do it for work colleagues - we all do in our team. I quite like getting Christmas cards from friends and family, but it doesn't bother me in the slightest if they send a FB message or round robin email to say they are donating to charity instead.

LuluJakey1 Tue 22-Dec-15 17:47:02

I do it. I email people on 1st December so no one sends us cards and remind them we don't send cards and I donate £50.00 to a charity and tell them which ne. We do the same thing with presents- close family and friends we do a card for and family presents. We give £200 to charity in lieu of presents. I would much rather do that than give people we hardly see a token present or card and then they can do what they like with their money too.

kinkytoes Tue 22-Dec-15 17:47:44

Plus you can recycle cards into gift tags for next year. Win win!

m0therofdragons Tue 22-Dec-15 17:48:06

There are a few relatives who I only get in touch with for birthdays and Christmas - we have a massive family spread across the world and I work plus have 3 young dc so making the time once a year to send a card with a personal note inside may take time and money but it's worth it. Just because I have only spoken to a cousin in the USA twice via fb this year doesn't mean I don't care. They visited 2 years ago and we spent lots of time together and in 18 months we plan to visit them (at huge expense). You don't have to speak constantly to love someone.

HesterShaw Tue 22-Dec-15 17:48:29

As long as people actually do give the money to charity it's fine, I think. Though if they don't, then it's nothing to do with anyone else.

If it bothers you, then stop giving them one. And if you'd like to stay better in touch, then do so"

dementedpixie Tue 22-Dec-15 17:48:45

I bet most of them don't do the donating bit though

GreatFuckability Tue 22-Dec-15 17:50:20

Of course its possible to do both, but I'm on a pretty limited income, so common sense says if I don't buy cards I can give more to the charities. I normally give to small, local or meaningful to me charities. No one I know has complained.

Junosmum Tue 22-Dec-15 17:54:14

I give to the local food bank and send a text/ fb message or email to people to let them know. I certainly spend more on the food bank donation than I would on cards and stamps but I do still send a card to my grandparents.

I kind of like receiving cards however I feel they are a dreadful waste of paper when they go in the recycling bin in the new year - that was my main reason for stopping sending them.

AuntieStella Tue 22-Dec-15 17:54:43

I've pruned my Christmas card list extensively over the last few years.

But I don't think I'd eliminate it completely. I send only charity cards (ideally direct from the organisation itself), and that's in addition to, not instead of, actual donations.

But if I was going to get rid, I think I'd just quietly stop sending to the remaining recipients. I wouldn't choose to publicise any donations, even to a comparatively small group of people well-known to me (if not currently close).

tilliebob Tue 22-Dec-15 17:57:56

I've given to a number of charities this year and have written the grand total of one card to my 95 year old Gt uncle. I usually write over 100 and post about half of them. Since I lost my dad recently I don't want to celebrate Christmas and can't focus enough to be organised anyway.

However, now that 5 charities are benefitting instead of the PO, I think that's the way I'm going to go. I donated in my dad's memory each time and I think he'd be delighted too.

TaliZorah Tue 22-Dec-15 17:59:30

I do it. Bit precious if you'd rather have a card you'd throw away than give the money to an organisation that needs it

Witchend Tue 22-Dec-15 17:59:58

I think it's a cop out. It is far easier for me to send an email out saying I'm just giving to charity and not giving cards.
I also suspect people often either don't give to charity or only give price of cards (no postage) so also save money.
Also to me there's an aspect of self back patting. Look see. I'm giving to charity.

On the other side, there are some people for whom that card is a symbol that they haven't been forgotten and that they have some relevance in others' lives.

TaliZorah Tue 22-Dec-15 18:01:00

Witchend I spent £50 on charity. More than I would on cards. How is that a cop out?

GreatFuckability Tue 22-Dec-15 18:03:20

It's a sad world when helping a charity is somehow a bad thing hmm

Hallamoo Tue 22-Dec-15 18:06:19

I don't send cards, I donate to charity instead. It doesn't mean that I'm thinking of people any less. I'd rather make an effort during another part of the year when things aren't so busy, than a cursory name at the bottom of a card which will go in the bin in a couple of weeks.

My DH always says what a shame it is that we don't send cards any more. Clearly not enough of a shame for him to get off his arse, buy, write and post them himself though!

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