OPINION: Whatever happened to Christmas cards?

SO CHRISTMAS is over, and what have you done, another year over and a new one just begun.

Sorry to go all John Lennon on you. Couldn't help myself.

I look around my living room after Christmas and I see not a single Christmas card in sight.

It's not that I didn't receive any. I did; from the bank and Bunnings (or it might have been Mitre 10, I didn't look properly).

Sad. But when you consider I long ago stopped sending Christmas cards, it was to be expected.

Some of us will remember a time when we used to race to the letter box each day of the festive season to see how many Christmas cards had come to us from proper friends rather than indifferent institutions.

It was a time of genuine excitement.

Oh, happy days. Not.

Receiving Christmas cards always put me in a mild panic in case it was from someone I hadn't sent one to and I then had to go out, buy another, drive in horrendous Christmas traffic and fight the queues at the post office to go through the whole card posting procedure again.

I knew people who would send out 50 to 60 cards each Christmas. Who would do such a thing now?

The only thing more annoying than Christmas cards is receiving the garrulous Christmas letter from people you thought had dropped out of your life (and were thankful for it).

These letters always made me feel uncomfortable and I never usually got to the end of them.

How do I sound? Scroogey?

But... there comes hope for the jaded Scrooge like me... a joy all over again upon receiving a Christmas card. Really. (Don't give up.)

It comes to you usually via a sticky little hand - the home-made Christmas card from a grandchild.

Full of childish big writing and adorable spelling mistakes ("I hop your get a speshal gift form Santaclaws") but made with love and usually with a drawing of you on it - you with stick legs and a big round head covered in wiry black hair.

See? Jaded all gone.