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Sending christmas cards after a death?

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flobadob | 04:15 Sun 20th Dec 2009 | Society & Culture
11 Answers
Is there a proper etiquette on sending christmas cards after a death in the family? I'm talking both from the perspective of the bereaved family sending christmas cards or people sending cards to the bereaved. Is there a time frame on how long the death has occured or does it matter?


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I doubt that there's any 'proper etiquette'. Every family is different. (I don't even really understand the concept of 'grief'. I've lost close friends and family members, including both my parents, and I've never grieved for anyone. I've just carried on as normal, usually refusing to attend funerals, which I regard as completely pointless. But I accept that others are different).

However a Christmas card serves to wish someone a happy Christmas. I see no reason why someone who has suffered a bereavement shouldn't want to express this wish to others, so they could send out Christmas cards as normal (but I'm sure that nobody would feel offended if they didn't).

When it comes to sending Christmas cards to a bereaved family, I'd probably choose a 'serious' card (rather than a 'jokey' one) and include a message stating that, despite their loss, I still hoped that they'd be able to find some happiness over the Christmas period.

yes its an individual thing . When my mum died the first year we didnt put up a tree or send cards thats the tradition in a lot of places in/ireland
I faced this problem when my wife died. I found some "tasteful" Christmas cards in silver and dark grey with a straightforward "Merry Christmas" message inside (Wilko) and also took the opportunity to put a short note in assuring everyone that I was coping OK. I still look for similar cards (I can usually find what I want at Wilko) and as the years have gone by, have allowed more colour to come in, but still don't feel it appropriate to consider flashy or jokey ones. As has been said, it's very much a matter of how you feel. As regards cards being sent to me, I haven't really noticed any specific trend and certainly I wouldn't mind receiving a funny or rude card - it's the fact that people have remembered me that counts after all.
Send them a card, and write in it, "thinking of you this Christmas" and then wish them a happier new year.
I don't know the circumstances, but if they've got children then they're going to have to put a brave face on it and cope anyway, the worst thing I think you could do is to ignore them.
Many years ago I saw a Christmas card bearing the message 'With sympathy at Christmas'. I don't know, but they may still be available
Two days ago. People move on, posts get forgotten about.
Wrong post! Apologies! x
Question Author
Having talked with people apparently the bereaved don't send cards but some people send them to the bereaved.
It is very much personal choice flobadob. I received a card from an Aunt who passed in November, her son found the envelopes all written out and decided to post them. It was rather comforting.
That's a very thoughtful idea of your aunt's, Charisse. I wonder that I've heard of one else doing the same.
Appreciate it is rather late now for Xmas 2009 but my tuppenyworth is.

If you are the bereaved then you do as you feel. If it is a task that takes your mind off things for a while you may wish to write them. On the other hand if you just can not be bothered with Xmas things then everyone will understand if you leave the cards this year.

If you know someone bereaved, then unless they have specifically asked for no cards then I don't believe leaving them out is a good idea. Even in, and maybe especially in sad times, it is good to know folk care. If they can not be coping with receiving cards, they can put them to one side, or even bin them; but chances are they'll appreciate someone is thinking of them. Just choose the type of card and wording with care, and maybe add a note from the heart, from yourself.

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