The last posting date for Christmas is fast approaching. If you're sending your Christmas cards to Irish addresses, unless you post them by this Friday, chances are they'll arrive after Christmas.
Many of us buy charity cards at Christmas, where some or all of the proceeds of the sale of a pack of cards goes to charity. Choose your cards well however -- otherwise, as little as a 10th of the price of the pack could go to charity.
If you want most or all of the price of your cards to go to charity, buy directly from the charity itself -- or an organisation closely linked to the charity.
For example, Our Lady's Children's Hospital in Crumlin sells charity cards in the run-up to Christmas. All of the money raised from the sale of these cards goes to the Children's Medical & Research Foundation, which raises money to help sick children in the hospital.
If you buy Oxfam charity cards, 70 per cent of the price of the pack is spent directly on the charity's work. "The remaining 30 per cent covers the cost of printing and distribution," added a spokeswoman for the charity. You can only buy Oxfam charity cards directly from Oxfam shops.
If you buy a pack of cards from one of Trocaire's centres in Dublin, Cork, Belfast or Maynooth, the charity receives all of the profits from the sale. This Christmas, you can also buy Trocaire cards from independent newsagents, gift shops, religious retailers and parish shops -- but if you do so, only a 10th of the cost of the pack goes to Trocaire.
Concern sells its charity Christmas cards online, through its Christmas catalogue and from its Dublin office in Camden Street. About 90 per cent of the proceeds of the sale of these cards is spent directly on Concern's relief and development programmes.
If you buy your charity Christmas cards from Boots, only a 10th of the price of the pack goes to charity. Next donates 15 per cent of the price of a pack to charity while Marks & Spencer donates 20 per cent.