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Make your festive greetings count with a card

Christmas cards are a great way to connect with your community, so spread a little joy this festive season, encourages Matt Oliver

We buy them, write them and receive them every year, but how often have you stopped to consider how it really feels when you receive a Christmas card?

The number of envelopes you find on your doormat might prompt you to remember loved ones who are far away, colleagues you used to spend the nine to five with, or social groups that you used to be a part of.

Similarly, receiving a handwritten Christmas card from a friend or relative connects you to them in a physical way. You know you’ve been in their thoughts and they’ve taken the time to think of you, write to you with their own hand, and post you a little bit of Christmas love.

Imagine how it might feel if you didn’t receive any Christmas cards this year.

We live in an age where isolation is on the rise; people are living longer and often alone, their families having moved away to start a family or explore the world. Even some professionals, working longer and longer hours, might not have the opportunity to connect with new people.

Living in a digital age or running the rat race can mean we’re left disconnected – a text or email replacing a warm hand, or a hug.

Christmas is all about community, and us all coming together to celebrate the Good News of the birth of Jesus Christ.

In an ideal world we’d all be surrounded with joyous festivities, visiting family, and outings with friends, but sadly this isn’t always the case.

We all already know how purchasing charity Christmas cards helps people in need around the world, but it’s not as often acknowledged how much difference they can make on a local level too.

Receiving a Christmas card through the door might mean the world to someone who feels disconnected, lost or lonely, so why not make it your mission to reach out to your neighbours and handwrite them a personalised card?

You could even go one step further and knock on their door to say ‘hello’ at the same time. It could be the start of a new friendship for the New Year, or you might just encourage someone to take their first brave step into your community.

Do you know anyone that might appreciate a visit to check they’re OK, and a friendly festive hug?

Whether you’re looking for multipacks of charity Christmas cards to share far and wide, or a handmade card with character, you can find them at Traidcraft. Many of their handmade cards have been hand embroidered by artisans at a fair trade co-operative in Bangladesh, or handcrafted with handmade paper by artisans in the Philippines.

They’re all fair trade, so you know you’re supporting families in the developing world as well as showing a little bit of Christmas here at home too.

Each card is a piece of original art, perfect for popping in a small frame after Christmas, and some even come with a handmade detachable brooch, so they’re a gift and card all in one!

Each pack of Traidcraft charity Christmas cards means a donation to Traidcraft Exchange, CAFOD, SCIAF, and Christian Aid, and there is a huge variety to choose from, including cards with Bible verses.

Visit Traidcraft’s online shop to explore a world of fair trade and handmade Christmas cards, or see if your local church or community centre has a regular resident Fair Trader stockist who’ll be able to help you choose the right cards for you.

So go on, make a difference to someone in your community this festive season.

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