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Monday, January 07, 2013

They say a fool and his money are soon parted, and sure enough, a lot of people spent their hard-earned cash on Amelie this Christmas. I presume they saw the Barnardos Christmas appeal, and decided that my children are at greater risk. Personally I limited my budget to anything under two quid from a charity shop, but a surprising number of people were kind enough to dig a little deeper, so if you're one of the generous individuals who sent us something for Amelie and Toby in December, I have two bits of good news.

The first is that I haven't taken it personally that you sent nothing for me. And the second is that your thank you letter is now on its way. Toby has failed to grasp the concept of literacy this year (although he'll grab a pen given half a chance), and whilst Amelie can write her own name, she likes it to take up half the page, and then fills the rest with impressionist paintings of flowers, before scribbling all over the envelope.

But as luck would have it, Lisa has the handwriting of a small child, so she's taken it upon herself to write the thank you cards this year. Unfortunately she's done it on the computer. Which is why it's taken until the 7th of January.

I think Boxing Day made her a little punch drunk, so having watched the children open all their presents, Lisa had a minor epiphany, and decided that 2013 should be the year that we let technology take the strain. Rather than spending upwards of half an hour writing out brief thank you cards by hand, Lisa realised that she could instead spend an entire week producing impersonal printed labels, which she could then stick inside the cards for that festive 'don't call us, we'll call you' feeling.

As modern parents, we're generally against the concept of labels, so we had to buy some in specially. They don't sell them in Lidl, so Lisa ordered some online, and having waited a few days for them to arrive, she then set about learning how to print on them. Fortunately she's a fast learner, so after a few hours of trial and error (both of those words are appropriate), during which I helpfully pointed out that she could have written them by hand in a quarter of the time, she eventually had the job done. At which point she realised that we didn't have any stamps.

The good news however, is that after a week of staring at the computer screen with a ruler in her hand, the cards are now ready. Although I did have to trim some of the labels with scissors during the sticking process. Lisa maintains that having learnt how to do it this year, next year will be a breeze, and she'll have the whole thing done in ten minutes. Which is about two minutes longer than Amelie, who'll have learnt to write by then.

The nice thing, however, is that rather than mass producing a load of identical labels (which, let's face it, would have been a lot quicker, and is the only sensible reason for using them in the first place), Lisa's tailored each individual message to the recipient, for that deeply personal touch. Although she's refused to take my advice on Marie's card, and has chosen not to mention that we kept her present under the Christmas tree for a month, right next to the radiator, and that all her crayons have melted. I'll save that news for her next visit.


Phil's Mum said...

You can tell from that blog that you have a high temperature - or is it Lisa?!