In no particular order:-
1. Cards for nursery age children. They can’t read. They don’t actually see all the children at the nursery, and wouldn’t recognise them if they were to land on them in a ball pool. Why, then, do all 20+ parents feel compelled to write 20+ cards apiece (all of which are too small to display anywhere other than a Sylvanian Family mantelpiece)?
2. Names(a). I’m a fine one to talk, having a name which can legitimately be spelt in several different ways, but, dear parents, why saddle your child with a
made-up unique version of an existing name? If I hear a child called Mary (for example, and to try to inject some festive spirit into the post), it is unsettling to discover that you, in your quest for individuality, have decreed it to be written “Mayoree”.
3. Names(b). Marriage is the topic de jour, but from a purely pragmatic perspective, I think all couples should marry early and all wives should take their husband’s surname. It saves the head-scratching, brain-racking, phone-a-friend mid December conundrum of “what the hell is her boyfriend/his girlfriend’s/vice-versa surname*
4. Addresses. Don’t *ahem* young people move around a lot? Not much chance of finding that change of address text I got back in May. That’s if I remember I got one in the first place.
5. New children. “Dear Mary, Joseph and …….” (cue frantic rifling through memory/inbox/Facebook page).
6. Death Bit tasteless, this one. Did husband’s granny’s cousin’s wife pass away this year, or am I just imagining it? How best to err on the side of caution? Scribbly handwriting is great to skip over spelling uncertainties, but falls short of covering both eventualities in this case.
7. Relationships See above. Did they separate? Are they back together? Did she retake her maiden name, and what about the children? Do I include a new, non-resident partner on the card?
8. Titles I’m almost 40 but I haven’t yet come down decisively on the side of “Aunty” or “Auntie”. Speaking of which, when does one know it’s time to drop the honorary titles?
I love it really, though. If nothing else, it is a rare chance every year to confirm to myself that I haven’t quite grown up yet. My mum has all this stuff down pat, so perhaps I’m not that old after all.