Can e-cards replace real thing?

Roger Bealey's whippet looking scared on the lap of a very unconvincing Santa Claus.
Roger Bealey's whippet looking scared on the lap of a very unconvincing Santa Claus.
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Back in November I was already receiving Christmas cards. It seemed far too early – but at least those people had got themselves organised and sent them in good time.

Christmas is the one time of the year when we send cards to keep in touch with old friends and acquaintances. I like receiving the cards and the brief personal notes from friends and acquaintances who I’ve not seen for years are welcome reminders of the past. But, like many other people I’m reluctantly cutting down on the Christmas card list this year as the cost of postage is so high.

I was discussing this with a like-minded friend and we agreed that it is necessary, although perhaps not quite in the spirit of Christmas.

Several of the major charities have now started publishing e-cards. These are cards which can be delivered via email and some of them are very attractive and animated with snow scenes, carol singers and cartoons. They can include a brief personal message and are comparable in price to the normal cards but are sent electronically.

The charity still gains the funds it would have received from the marketing of the normal charity cards and you’re still keeping in touch with your friends and relations whilst eliminating entirely the cost of postage.

They’re sent almost instantaneously as well – so if you know the email address of a person who has sent you a last-minute card, you know there won’t be any postage delays and that the card you send in return will arrive in time, even if you don’t get around to sending it until Christmas Eve.

This has advantages and disadvantages. You can’t send e-cards to people who don’t have an email address. The cards are seen on computer and can’t be proudly displayed on the sideboard or wherever else you put the cards you receive. Nor can you fill the envelope with sprinkles or whatever they call those tiny confetti-like decorations which some people delight in using.

I find that cards from some people have to be very carefully opened over the wastepaper basket or I’m still finding the wretched things months later behind furniture and under cushions.

The long letters listing the exotic holidays and with details of your own friends and distant relatives which you circulate to people who’ve never met them, have to be circulated separately.

I was amused to learn that the Dogs Trust has got in on the Christmas act and had fun events at which Santa Paws was present and dishing out presents to dogs photographed with him.

It was

Colin Bates who first told me about this. He and his wife had taken Harry Terrier there and had him photographed sitting on the knee of Santa Paws.

Harry is an active little tyke and protested vigorously about this. I’ve not actually seen the photograph but I believe that it showed a rather unhappy Santa with his glasses askew and beard pulled around under one ear.

Well, it was all in a good cause and when we were passing the Dogs Trust a week later, we called in to let Susie Whippet share in the fun.

Normally she doesn’t like sitting on knees so I expected trouble. To my surprise she sat there quite sedately but it was Santa Paws who looked rather uncomfortable because Susie has rather bony legs which were painfully digging into his more meaty ones.

While we waited for the photograph to be printed, we had a look around the various stalls including one selling Dogs Trust Christmas cards.

“Does the Dogs Trust do e-cards,” I asked.

But the man behind the counter didn’t know anything about that and confessed that he didn’t even send any cards himself. “I leave that to my wife” he said.

Second Sunday Folk Night

The Second Sunday folk evening at the Muse was an excellent evening. The usual people were joined by the Wetherby Folk Chorale and most of the songs heard were appropriate Christmas songs and carols.

John Curtin usually sets himself up for singing songs with what he claims are the worst songs of their genre and they can be quite amusing.

This time Mel Swales said he was competing for the worst Christmas song with a song recorded by John Denver and entitled “Please Daddy, don’t get drunk this Christmas; I hate to see mamma cry”.

But in that category, my money would be on the

Patti Page, December 1952 “How much is that Doggie in the Window?” I just hope that now I’ve mentioned it, Mel doesn’t include it in his repertoire for another evening!

Santa Claus

Christmas is really a time for young children and for visits to and from Santa Claus or Father Christmas.

We’ve seen and heard Santa with his sleigh on a few occasions but the Lions big event with real reindeer in the Market Place will have to be reported after Christmas, together with the popular Rotary Carol Service and numerous other events occurring between writing this article and it being published only a few days before Christmas.

So if I don’t see you at one of the events, this may

be my last opportunity to wish you a Merry Christmas.