The smallest of gestures can have the biggest impact

Written by our founder, Diane Nettleton

The Oxford dictionary have announced that there were too many words to sum up the events of 2020. We are all using words daily unfamiliar before 2020 such as lockdown, furlough, coronavirus, WFH, working remotely. Other words such as unprecedented, pandemic is in our daily vocabulary but rarely used before this year. The R number a term known mainly to epidemiologists is now routinely talked about by non-experts. Other terms that have become much more common in everyday conversation this year include ‘flatten the curve’ and ‘community transmission’, said the Oxford dictionary. 

However, for me the word that stands out that is not new but has been used since the 14th century is ‘kind’. Being kind to others, thinking of others, heroic efforts of people like Captain Tom, the NHS, neighbours looking out for one another. A friend recently sent a message to all her friends saying her elderly mother in a home has her birthday in December. She has found this pandemic more difficult than the war and she asked for friends to send her a birthday card.

It struck me that this year more than ever it is important to send Christmas cards. I have always felt it important to send cards at Christmas and feel disappointed when people say do not send a card as we will not be reciprocating and instead donating to charity. To me it is not the card but the thought. When I sit and write my cards, I am thinking of those people I want to be in touch with, people who have touched your life in one way or another. This year I got my Christmas card list out in May and wrote cards and letters to those I do not speak to regularly or just contact at Christmas. I know others who did the same. It was a good thing to do. Write a card, walk to the post box knowing it would land on the recipient’s door mat and they would know you were thinking of them.

I choose my cards purposefully, religious scenes for those who would appreciate it, winter wishes for those of other faiths, across the miles for overseas family and more personal for closer family.

It does not need to be wasteful either most cards now are in recyclable packaging, and when I take them down each year I either recycle or cut them and use for Christmas tags the following year. 

So, for the second time this year my Christmas list will come out, I will choose my cards which give to charity and spend time thinking of those I am sending to as I write them.