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'.