Round about now, most people in England will be gearing up to Christmas cards. They probably bought them a while back and are in the middle of sending them right now. To all their friends and relations.
It’s not like that here. People do send them, but not on anything like the same scale, so there are no cheap-and-cheerful boxes stacked up, or whole aisles given up to displays, or mail-order charity cards. And they tend to send them later too – often between Christmas and New Year. English people here who like to keep up with their English card-sending traditions need to get organised with supplies from the UK or English outlets in France.
For years and years I made my own. Then e-cards, with a donation to charity, seemed the way to go, and so that’s what we do now. But I miss those hours spent with scissors and glue and sequins and paints and multi-coloured card, with the radio on in the background. So I make a batch anyhow, and those few friends who aren’t on email get a homespun card as they always have done. And I send them to French friends too – even the ones on email – because they seem to appreciate this further evidence that we English, though clearly barking mad, are quite nice with it
The runaway hit of ‘The Story of Christmas’ in Lavelanet library which I posted about last week, has been the chance to make Christmas cards in the English manner. Children and adults alike have hunkered down in the library and considered the craft items on offer before turning their minds to creating a selection of cards for all the special people in their lives. I wonder if they’ll acquire the habit, and do the same thing next year?