Sunday, November 9, 2008

Christmas Cards

I'm sorry, but here's one of my pet peeves coming up!

It's Christmas time, and we're already starting to see an awful phenomenon that seems to have infected the Australian publishing industry in recent years. Perhaps it's infected all industries, I don't know.

It's the announcement in the trade Newsletter that so-and-so publisher will not be sending Xmas cards this year but will instead donate the money to charity. Perhaps they'll follow up later with a Xmas email.

I can't help myself. Every time I read one of these miserable announcements I have to head for the bar fridge to quieten down.

Can't these people do both? By all means contribute to charity, which you should be doing on a regular basis anyway as a matter of company policy. But to do it INSTEAD of sending Xmas cards, a long tradition of acknowledging community and friendship, and expressing thanks to customers, authors and colleagues in a very personal way? Is business so bad that it's a question of cost, for God's sake?

It's Calvinism. As an Irish Catholic, I'm offended!

But if you're going to send Xmas cards then make it genuine. There's nothing more insulting than getting a pre-printed corporate card with absolutely no trace of a human hand anywhere on it. Or one that simply simply says 'Fred'! How lazy is that! Instead of that meaningless excercise it probably does make sense to stop doing it and send the money to charity!

I've always thought we should take time out to make some personal contact with each other at this time. Christmas cards are an ideal opportunity. They don't have to be sacrificed for some 'higher good'.


Tess McCabe said...

It reeks of George Costanza and The Human Fund - "Money, for People".

Peter Donoughue said...

Yes, good!

What really irks me is that these publishers want some sort of congratulations or respect for having taking such a caring decision! Oh, please!

I fully expect an announcement soon that they're not sending cards this year in order to 'protect the environment'!

That would really make me puke!!

Ross Sharp said...

The appropriate response is "Your calvinist attitude towards the sending of actual Christmas cards offends me deeply as an Irish Catholic. However, rather than resist this tide of latter-day tight-arsery, I have decided to go-with-the-flow and shall no longer be sending any Christmas cards to anyone myself. Instead, I shall keep the money, purchase an abandoned puppy from the RSPA and, with gay Irish-Catholic abandon, bash it to death with a hardbound copy of James Joyce's "Ulysses". Have a happy whatever."