Opinion piece by Dawn Robinson-Walsh:
Should we donate to charity instead of sending Christmas cards?
There’s no right answer to this, is there?
The announcements start turning up on Facebook that people are donating to charity this year, not sending Christmas cards. That’s fine.
Admission: I have sometimes not sent cards because I had no interest in them. That’s different though, isn’t it, and we can’t say that, but truly, it wasn’t because I donated to charity instead (as I do that anyway) – and therein lies the rub according to MumsNet.
If you can’t afford to send Christmas cards or have other priorities, then it is right and proper not to. You should not have to guiltily (or nobly) mutter about charitable donations instead. (Incidentally, it would be pointless for me to announce anything on Facebook as many of my friends, rather sensibly, don’t use it).
If you donate to charity, that’s great too, but do we need big social media announcements unless it is a fundraising effort? Can’t we just quietly get on with it?
For sure, charities are struggling, just as many households are. 1 in 8 people are thought to be reducing (or considering doing so) their donations as charities’ costs are rising. They certainly need your help.
There are, of course, other ways to help charities all year round. We can (and many do) volunteer our time (valuable), donate items that might be used (food for food banks, pet food for animal shelters, or old towels, etc., for the latter) or raise awareness of the work they do.
I’ve no personal axe to grind here; it makes no difference to me which people choose: charities or cards.
These days, my personal preference (and I appreciate most people won’t care) is that I do send cards to people I don’t see often, or who live away, and often enclose a handwritten note or letter, because it does actually cheer some people up, especially those who are or feel alone (because people told me they missed my cards/letters the year I didn’t bother). I don’t need one back in return.
I also like to support our posties by sending cards/letters, not just the parcels that are more profitable for Royal Mail, but that’s just me being bolshy. Like many others, I also donate to charities, as the two are not mutually exclusive. That’s just my choice.
One compromise is perhaps to send charity Christmas cards.
What are your thoughts?