I’ve said it once, I’ll say it a thousand times: if you’re going to give out Christmas cards this year, actually take the time to write a meaningful message on them. Otherwise, we are simply wasting paper while the Amazon rainforest disintegrates before our very eyes.

In the spirit of Christmas storytelling, I’ve prepared a little (modernised) tale that showcases this point. Think Charles Dickens or E. T. A. Hoffmann if they were both a little bit lazier and each had a sweet tooth.

Here goes it.

It’s December. You’ve just purchased a stack of festive cards from your local newsagent and you’re about to go absolutely (Christmas) ham on them.

You open up the card to find there’s already a line of text printed inside by the manufacturer. “Merry Christmas and a happy New Year,” it says.

You, a complete silly bugger, think to yourself, “oh wowee, gee whiz. All I need to do now is write the recipients’ name and my own, and I’ll be done!”.

Luckily, you snap out of your festive foolishness and quickly come to your senses.

“Oh, I should probably write something genuine on these cards. Otherwise my friends, family and co-workers will think I’m a paper-wasting douche who has no original thoughts and instead chooses quantity over quality in a situation that definitely warrants the latter,” you think to yourself using exactly that specific phrasing.

A few moments later you begin writing out your cards, including at least one specific memory or shared experience in each recipient’s.

Even though you ascended only a single notch higher on the ladder of expectation, you feel an overwhelming sense of pride and accomplishment.

You realise that when each person opens their card from you, they’ll experience a warm and fuzzy moment of recognition that you went the extra mental mile for them.

You smile a toothy grin to yourself.

You forget, in your elation that your gob is full of eggnog.

You’re well aware it’s not a commonly consumed beverage in Australia but you committed yourself to trying it this year.

A creamy trickle escapes your mouth and falls onto the card you were writing. You sigh.

Is this what you get for attempting to be earnest in your Christmas cards?

“Fuck it,” you think.

A heartfelt message and a sugary egg mixture are actually the perfect additions to Uncle Garry’s Christmas card.

As you place a postage stamp on his eggnog-crusted envelope, you’re glad you put in the hard yards and hope Garry isn’t severely lactose intolerant.

Image: mediaphotos via istock