Magazine topic: 
Life around the world

Christmas cards

by : 
JulieG

We just love giving cards in Britain. If there’s a special occasion coming up, there’s no doubt we will be there, card in hand, to celebrate it.  And this isn’t just for birthdays, we give cards when people are ill, when they have got a new job, passed a driving test even if you forgot  somebody’s birthday, there is no need to panic because there are even "sorry it’s late" cards. So you can pretty much find a card for any occasion.

And of course, now that it’s Christmas the shops have been taken over by cards with Santas and snowy scenes, wishing people “ Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year”.

Before coming to Italy I had never even considered that our obsession with card giving might not be shared by other countries. In fact, my colleagues told me that hardly anyone sends Christmas cards in Italy and that they actually don’t really give birthday cards either! I was shocked. In the UK , if a close friend or family member didn’t get me a card I’d feel upset!

However, I should have realized it might be different here when the only place you can buy cards is in the cartoleria which sells stationery, school things and paper along with a very limited choice of cards. In comparison, we have whole shops dedicated to them in the UK. We even have different types of card shops, some for those on a budget where you can buy five cards for one pound and others offering higher quality cards and prettier designs.

Although cards can take up your time, from choosing the perfect one, to thinking up the personal message inside (although you can get cards that do the hard work for you), I think it’s a really nice gesture. And especially with Christmas cards, it adds to that festive feeling. When I sit down to write the countless cards to friends and family (and in the past even to teachers) I get that little bit more excited that it will be Christmas soon! Not to mention when I see my own Christmas cards, proudly sitting on my window sill wishing me a very merry Christmas.

Of course, the problem comes when they’re no longer needed, when Christmas is well and truly over. It makes me sad just to throw them all away, so I try and hang on to my favourite ones. 

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Discussion

Do you send Christmas cards or other type of cards? What do you think about the idea?

Comments

Harabeli Supersweet's picture
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Harabeli Supersweet 30 January, 2015 - 15:58

I think it's wonderful to send and receive cards. Something written by hand can never be replaced by an SMS or email or any other electronic way of communication. Years ago people would send more cards, but now they are very rare. I still send cards, especially on Christmas or New Year. There have been times when I've sent more than 50 cards and I've received just 2. Imagine! I still keep writing cards, because I find it really interesting. I send them to my friends, teachers, family members, relatives or even cyber friends that I've known online. They have told me that my cards made them feel very happy and this year I've received cards from other countries. When I was little, I used to receive many cards and I still have them. Every year, on Christmas holidays, I read them and I remind the people who had sent them to me, because I might have years without seeing them. But I still have something from them, a dedication written by their hands. And I hope that people who have received cards from me remind me in the same way.

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jasminemeer's picture
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jasminemeer 23 December, 2014 - 09:47

yes,in our country we give cards to each other especially on Eid-ul-fitr and also but rarely on Eid-ul-azha. I always give cards to my friends,sisters,parents and teachers.I love to give cards to others but love more to get cards from others.To give cards to others is really good and marvellous idea.

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