The Great Christmas Card Dilemma

Christmas homeless

Photo: Trevor Pritchard, Creative Commons License

News that one celebrity family this year spent $250,000 on their printed Christmas card shook me to the core. I don’t wish to judge; but that seems a lot…

There’s no doubt that printed cards have a special quality, and I love receiving them. But then I struggle with the fact that 952 million single, non-multipack greeting cards were sold in 2012 at an average retail price of £1.62 per card. That’s an incredible sum…even before you add a 50p stamp.

Of course I could buy charity cards, but recent press coverage suggests that many shops selling them actually pay their charities very little of the proceeds. So I’m thinking digital. But then what if some people think that’s because I can’t be bothered to get to the shop, go to the post box or buy a stamp? As the BBC’s Ed Ram says: “The festive postbag can be a social and ethical minefield”.

After much consideration, my solution to the ‘Christmas Card Dilemma’ this year is to send printed cards to a trimmed-down list of family and friends, and a jhd Architects e-card to business contacts. I’m donating to the CRASH No Christmas Card Appeal the money I would otherwise have spent on buying and posting cards. There. Now you have it.

CRASH is the construction and property industry’s charity. It improves buildings used by the homeless by providing pro-bono professional expertise, supplying free building materials and awarding cash grants. The fact it focuses on projects that help single homeless people aged 18 and above particularly appeals to me, as this specific group of people is not entitled to receive any statutory assistance from the local authority and is therefore extremely vulnerable.

So, having got that off my chest, here’s the link to the card.

Happy Christmas!