Christmas Cards

The exchange of cards at Christmas is the only contact we have with some people. I don’t think that’s particularly unusual.
It’s occurred to me that these are going to start arriving addressed to us both.
Maybe I should try and forestall as many as I can by getting my cards out early, with an insert explaining what has happened.
What sort of card though ?
How have other people handled this at their first post-bereavement Christmas ?

Hi Edwin. That’s a good question. I didn’t send a single Christmas card last year. I simply couldn’t bear to write just my name on the card. I’m not going to send any this year either. However, if any came addressed to both of us (very few actually) I found it a comfort strangely. It felt good to see both our names together, it looked right. Those cards with only my name didn’t look right. Writing any kind of card is tough now. Xx

Thanks Kate.
I seem to have an unfortunate penchant for asking “good” questions, with absolutely no capability of coming up with any answers, good or otherwise.

The exchange of cards with those old acquaintances who are “on the Christmas card list” is just for old times sake really, a bit of nostalgia for times gone.
I think that I’d like to keep sending in memory of happier times now gone.
Christmas cards are usually happy happy missives though, and I feel wary of using them as the vector for spreading sad news.

I’ve no interest in Christmas, but then I never had. I think my kids and grandkids will expect to get cards and presents. In previous years I just left everything to my wife. I have no great interest in the religious side of things and I resent the pressure people are put under to conform to the commercial model. I’ve absolutely no idea what to do this year but I don’t want to upset friends and family so not that much change to previous years then. I always thought gift vouchers were the answer or maybe just cash.
I’d like to avoid sending any cards so maybe this is the year.

My grandparents were bombed out on Christmas Eve 1940 in one of several raids that became known as the “Christmas Blitz” on Manchester and Salford. My father was then at an RAF rehabilitation hospital in Blackpool, and Grandad (I never knew him) in his distress made his way there to find his only son. The RAF, in the person of the Station Warrant Officer, fixed him up with accommodation for a few days.
Dad suffered from all of his wartime experiences, and always found Christmas hard which meant it wasn’t always the happy family time it should have been. I think that I overcompensated when I became a parent, and my children have nice memories. Growing up in Germany where Christmas is celebrated in a nice way doubtless helped them, and as adults they try so hard to recreate their childhood recollections. I must do my best during this first Christmas without their Mum, my wife, to make things as happy as I can.

Though my Grandfather died before I was born, I remember the kindness of that Station Warrant Officer to him. Whoever he was, whatever his name, whatever became of him, I’ll continue to raise a Christmas glass to him.

Hi. This will be my first Christmas on my own so not sure what to do about cards etc.

Hi Edwin

This is also my first Christmas without my husband and, like you, I realised some people on my Christmas card list would not know that I’m now on my own. So I sent those people a Christmas card signed with only my name, but also enclosing a letter letting them know when my beloved passed away, and a general note on my life now, what interests I have taken up etc, and wishing them well. Following this, I’ve received one lovely reply, so far, from an old friend. I feel writing the way I did, giving the sad news first, was the most appropriate. Hope this helps, and best wishes to you in all you do at this special time. Deidre

Hi Edwin, I had the same decision to make this Christmas. Mike my husband died in August and I was dreading the cards arriving. I made the decision to send out cards early with a very brief note explaining. I have received some lovely replies, sympathising but also telling me of occurrences in their own lives which would not have happened if I had not sent the cards. It has made me realise that year after year we send cards without much thought and has definitely made me determined to write to everyone in the new year. It has given me a great deal of comfort.

Deidre and Anne36 - thank you both.

I received one early card addressed to “Mr and Mrs” that from the widow of a friend who died just before Christmas last year.

On the same general tack, whilst looking through last year’s cards I came across four written up and envelopes ready to send by my late wife, Eileen. Why they weren’t sent I don’t know, but I am enclosing them with a note in this year’s cards. They may bring a tear, but I am pretty sure that they’ll be appreciated.