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Money Moral Dilemma: Should I send Christmas cards to my partner's family who don't send them to us?

edited 13 December 2022 at 3:19PM in Special occasions & other celebrations
61 replies 35.7K views
MSE_KelvinMSE_Kelvin MSE Staff
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This week's MoneySaver who wants advice asks...

I love sending Christmas cards, and always send them to my partner's family, who we don't often see or hear from. It's been years since any of them sent us a card, and with cash tight this year, I'm starting to think I'm wasting my money as it's not cheap to buy and send cards to them all. But it doesn't seem in the Christmas spirit to stop sending them because we don't get anything back, and I worry about my partner losing contact with his family.

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  • Torry_QuineTorry_Quine Forumite
    18.8K Posts
    Part of the Furniture 10,000 Posts Name Dropper Bake Off Boss!
    My experience of this.
    Every year I sent first a wedding invite and then Christmas cards to a relative of my husband overseas and no response. I did it because it seemed the right thing. After many years we got one back which gradually developed into a letter. When they sadly passed we were mentioned in the obituary. Obviously that's just one experience and the decision has to be yours. 
    Lost my soulmate so life is empty.

    I can bear pain myself, he said softly, but I couldna bear yours. That would take more strength than I have -
    Diana Gabaldon, Outlander
  • edited 13 December 2022 at 9:25PM
    Willowtree222Willowtree222 Forumite
    7.4K Posts
    Part of the Furniture 1,000 Posts Photogenic Name Dropper
    edited 13 December 2022 at 9:25PM
    Do they live near to each other? If they did you could send one envelope or small parcel to one of them with them all in. That would at least cut down on postage costs.

    September 2017 Debt = £25330

    Starting afresh.

    You can do anything if you put your mind to it. x
  • bikagabikaga Forumite
    123 Posts
    Part of the Furniture 100 Posts
    Your partner staying in touch with their family is their problem, not yours. Talk to them about it. You don't have to do their emotional labour.

    If you enjoy doing Xmas cards, do them - maybe pick a few key contacts rather than all of them. But if it's not making you feel happy and there's no response, honestly, don't bother. Your partner is a grown-up.
  • Herts_JulieHerts_Julie Forumite
    5 Posts
    Fourth Anniversary First Post
    Given that it costs nearly £1 postage per Christmas card, if you haven’t heard from these people in years, I would say it’s time to save the costs and the time involved and cut your losses.  I agree that cards are a great way to keep in touch but they haven’t responded so you never know, they may have moved home … or died!  If they wanted to keep in touch you think they would have sent a card, telephoned or emailed in all those years.  Mind you, the best way to provoke a reaction is to tell them someone has died … where there’s a Will there’s a relative on your doorstep!  😁
  • Ed264Ed264 Forumite
    66 Posts
    10 Posts First Anniversary
    If you've not received cards from them for years, I wouldn't be sending cards to them. On a general note, I keep an accurate record of who cards are sent to and received from. If we don't receive anything from them by 31 December (which allows for postal delays - strikes or not) then they're deleted from our list!
  • clearancerclearancer Forumite
    151 Posts
    Sixth Anniversary 100 Posts Name Dropper
    My “neighbours on Facebook” group is full of “anyone know Marie Buffet, I’ve got a Xmas card for her” type posts. So this year I’ve put a return address on the few cards I’ve sent through the mail. 
  • dirtmotherdirtmother Forumite
    134 Posts
    Part of the Furniture 100 Posts Combo Breaker
    I have twice had thanks for continuing to send cards when the recipients didn't reciprocate for years - in both cases they had been severely depressed. 

    If you need to keep costs down, you could send a letter (and include email and other contacts with it so that might encourage them to make contact in another way and if need be you can switch to stamp free too next year)

    I like choosing nice cards and stamps, I write a standard letter which I print and then hand write personal elements. I love receiving nice cards with notes and letters and it is a key part of my Christmas decoration (and a good deal more recyclable than many other types)

    Might be worth thinking about why you don't hear from them - busy? they feel awkward? Christmas/Winter is a difficult time for them? Every so often I'll get a letter, sometimes a long letter from someone, either at Christmas or in the New Year who I don't normally get any news from.

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