It's the season

Kate Giles
I send Christmas cards to family and friends every year. It takes time and effort to prepare the cards. I have a vision impairment. I need to make sure I put the stamps on the right corner of the envelope. I do this by contrasting the white envelope against a dark tablecloth. I use printed card labels to help me. My cards are also prepared in advance. I select cards from printing websites that let you create personalised cards. Preparing cards is hard work. It takes me three days to finish. But I am proud of my accomplishments.
Posted by: 
Kate Giles on 22/12/2011
A selection of Chrismas cards. There are colourful images of Santa Claus and a snowman.
A selection of Christmas cards.

I send Christmas cards every year.

The Christmas tree with all its glitter stands tall in front of the living room windows. The gifts are wrapped in green, red and gold paper. They are also tied with ribbons and sit proudly under the tree. I begin to prepare our family cards. My favourite Christmas songs are playing in the background.

Stamps and labels

With my limited vision it takes an effort to get everything I need to prepare the cards. But I feel proud of my accomplishments.

Oops. I have just stuck a stamp in the wrong place. Sticking a stamp in the middle of the envelope reminds me I must focus. I need to make sure the end of each envelope is against the dark tablecloth. The contrast of the white envelope on the dark tablecloth helps me see where I need to put the stamp. I also need to concentrate to put on the return address labels. I have been known to put a few labels upside down.

My ability to write address envelopes by hand disappeared when I lost most of my vision. I now use computer labels. The label file is set up under my Christmas folder on the computer. The folder also has a pre- written family letter. I print this out and include it in some of the cards.

Christmas cards

My cards are also prepared in advance. They are made from a selection of printing websites that let you create personalised cards. This can be frustrating as many are not really compatible with my adaptive equipment. But the job at hand can be accomplished with determination. It is worth the perseverance as the cards contain a written verse and who the card is from. Organising cards in this way makes it possible for me to send out my own Christmas cards without any assistance.

Production line

My production line at the end of the living room table is very well organised. Everything I need is in an arch in front of me and from left to right. I have ready-made Christmas cards, the pre-written family newsletter, envelopes, address labels, return address labels and stamps.

All items are in the order of use. It is also important to make sure everything is in position and the right way up. My magnifier gets a workout.

My husband Denis looks in. Looks like Santa's workshop, he says. Need a hand?

No thanks. All's good.


It takes me three days to finish the cards. It's a beautiful day when Denis and I stroll to the shopping centre to the post box.

Carols fill the air in the shopping centre. Decorations flutter in the gentle breeze. Denis suggests a coffee and a mince pie. Sounds good. I need a reward for all my hard work. Besides it's the season to eat, drink and be merry.

Best wishes to all. May the joy of Christmas be with you throughout the coming year.

Readers comments (1)

Thanks for sharing this Kate. I am a "Christmas nut" with lots of decorations, hand made cards for friends, personalised bon bons I make and Christmas games etc etc - u get the idea.
For the past 2 years I have had significant moblity issues and the effort and energy required to do my "usual" was intense. But it gives me so much pleasure I still do it. I enjoyed reading about how you too go to so much effort to get your christmas cards prepared and sent out; a kindred spirit I think.

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