It’s that time of year again, when your friends, neighbours and people you haven’t actually seen in 20 years send you their annual update on life. Normally, families send an A4 letter about the ten trips to the Caribbean they made, how their son is doing on his gap year and the fact that their daughter was awarded a gold at the 2020 Olympics. But guess what? None of those things happened this year. One small silver lining to the Covid pandemic: we no longer have to receive insufferable gloating Christmas cards.
Instead, we can all moan about the same problems, and genuinely wish each other a happier new year. What’s more, it’s a really wonderful opportunity to support charities who have taken a big hit this year in their fundraising efforts. They’ve not been able to host fun runs, musical events or carol singing in tube stations, so this is one of a few ways you can give back.
And the options are endless, there are some really beautiful cards to send, and you still have plenty of time to pop them in the post box. Nothing brings festive cheer quite like a hand-written delivery.
1. National Trust
Nothing says Happy Christmas quite like the British robin. The territorial bird, which is normally quite aggressive in the garden, turns into the symbol of friendly festivity. These cute red-breasted chicks have been painted by Yorkshire artist Rachel McNaughton for a pack of 10 cards, with proceeds going to the National Trust to look after our green spaces around the country.
Each pack contains 10 cards depicting the 12 dogs of Christmas by illustrator Emily Rose Dixon. And we love them, because we love dogs, and this card depicts 12 of them, from 8 Dalmatians dashing to 9 Dachshunds digging. Send them to your friend who just bought a puppy during lockdown and you know it will take centre stage on the mantlepiece. The card is made from carbon balanced board to offset its carbon footprint and they’re packaged in NatureFlex cello bags, which are biodegradable and compostable. On top of that all profits and donations go towards helping the NSPCC protect children from abuse and transform society for every childhood.
Last year, Oxfam’s Christmas cards raised enough money to fund a life-changing project in Bangladesh – helping to get safe, clean water to people in desperate need, supporting women to develop business skills and earn an income, and help communities prepare for natural disasters. To help support future projects like this around the world, why not reach into your pocket and buy this lovely pack of 10 dove-themed cards. You know what to do.
Designed exclusively for Macmillan this pack of 10 cards features a bright design of the Three Kings’ journey. It has some luxurious gold foil detailing for a little pizzazz, too. It’s made with 100% recycled paper, printed with natural soya inks. And, most importantly, 100% of the profits from these cards goes towards helping Macmillan provide physical, financial and emotional support to people with Cancer, allowing them to live life as fully as they can.
5. Save The Children
Christmas Day centres around the birth of baby Jesus, and whether you’re religious or not, there are some wonderful lessons to be learnt. From the warm welcome from the inn keeper to the devotion of the Wise Men and shepherds, and this card shows the nativity scene in all its glory. And it pops up! Who doesn’t love a pop-up card? What’s more, 100% of the profits from this pack of 10 will go towards Save The Children, whose mission it is helping change the lives of children across the world.
7. British Heart Foundation
The British Heart Foundation has pulled out all the stops this year. Their Christmas card can be planted to grow wild flowers giving lots of nutrients to our bees and butterflies. The seed paper is made using traditional methods, using only recycled paper and air dried to ensure germination. The cards are printed with vegan ink and packaged in 100% biodegradable bags. Of course, you’ll also be putting money towards a charity that researches cures and treatments around heart and circulatory diseases.
This year you can give a family a home. Buy this pack of 10 Christmas cards from Shelter and you will be helping to rebuild thousands of lives. It’s startling to think that there will be people this year spending Christmas without the comfort of a roof over their heads or a heater. This is one way to make sure that doesn’t happen. This pack of 10 celebrates all things London, from beefeaters to Big Ben and red buses. A cheery addition to any mantle piece.
This sweet vintage pack of 10 comes with two designs – one of two children posting their Christmas letter, and another of two children playing with their toys on a snowy day. All profits from your purchase will help the Barnardos charity support the UK’s most vulnerable children. Their dedicated work helps to transform the lives of over 300,000 children and young people and their families across 1,100 services each year.
11. Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust
Spread holiday cheer and help family and friends remember the words of the 12 Days of Christmas with this pack of 10 (who ever remembers the actual words apart from five gold rings?). The proceeds will go to Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust, a charity that aims to prevent and reduce the impact for everyone affected by cervical cell changes (abnormal cells) and cervical cancer. They do this by providing the highest quality information and support, and campaign for excellence in cervical cancer treatment and prevention.
Price: Suggested donation of £3
The Royal National Lifeboat Institution is a charity dedicated to saving lives at sea. So it seems fitting that they’ve gone for a nautical theme this year. This pack of 10 has been designed by artist Petrina Sutton and sprinkled with a bit of glitter. Proceeds go to helping support their 24/7 search and rescue lifeboat service and their seasonal lifeguard service. Every year, their volunteer lifeboat crews and lifeguards help and rescue thousands of people and have saved over 143,000 lives since 1824.