Tuesday, 6 January 2009

Customary well wishing

Here in Western Europe, we have this burdensome habit of sending greeting cards to each other. I have this English friend who humbles me each year by being the first to send his card with wishes for merry Christmas and a happy new year.

His card arrives in early December and gives me the signal to get busy.

On the other hand, the French post their cards till mid-January. Sure, it's a bit late for the "merry Christmas" stuff but you can always purchase cards who cater exclusively for the next year.

All this is a kind of chase where the first-comer humbles the late-comer. Because you have to answer those cards and make believe the other one that both cards crisscrossed somehow. Meaning something like "I am not the uncivil one who waited or was about to forget. I am just a tiny bit late. The postal service was probably on strike."

I hate this custom but don't dare to go silent. Because you can't receive all those well wishings without answering accordingly. I must admit: I don't have the guts to do so.

There is a positive side to all this. You can gloat and boast about all those cards received. We are stacking them on the chimney are are proud to have so many. Meaning without saying so: "I got more than you".

Here, look what we harvested this year:

It might be fun to send those stereotyped wishes in July with a remark saying "to be activated in December/January" or something like "covers a 12-year-span - best before 2020. Then you can live in peace till that date or even better: die before.