Christmas cards: The seasonal act of social climbing

According to one study, the seasonal act of exchanging Christmas cards is not a selfless act, but rather, an opportunity to get ahead.

 

 

‘Tis fast becoming the season. But under all the jingling revelry of good tidings to all, the pristine timbre of crooners a-croonin’, and the warm endless debate over which classic Christmas re-runs constitutes the meta classic; sits something galling, something awful and something violent safely camouflaged in the fanciest of spooling handwriting: The humble Christmas card.

Yes, it seems that the most storied of storied traditions is not immune to woke contemporary analysis. As it turns out, the seemingly harmless pursuit of exchanging cards is actually a crucible for yuletide social climbing. The lesson: those who want to scale further up the management tree apparently should wait until we collectively welcome a pine into our house.

You see, the exchanging of goodwill is not an altruistic act, it is one of hubris, one aimed with an intention for self-advancement. A study back at the turn of the millennium discovered this fact, organising a card exchange that encompassed almost 600 strangers of various social standing and means. The researchers at West Texas A&M University found that the assumed higher social status of the person increased their likelihood of garnering a response from the unwashed masses they sent a card to, at a ratio of 5:1.

 

It seems that the most storied of storied traditions is not immune to woke contemporary analysis. As it turns out, the seemingly harmless pursuit of exchanging cards is actually a crucible for yuletide social climbing.

 

To drive home the point of the study, please endure another godawful vintage Christmas tradition, the panto.

Scene: Christmas Eve. There is no snow. The mailman in dull blue uniform, face brightly lit with fear, prodded open the head-high rusted chainlink fence, tinseled with barbed-wire, decorated with warm seasonal greetings that vaguely guarantee an ugly death.

Eyes a-darting, the mailman slinks up the driveway, shifting on the toes of his polished leather, calculating the risk of being mistaken for a housebreaker and outright detection, with the latter being preferable. The skeleton of a thousand cannibalised automobiles that honeycomb the yard hints that he might join their number if he was betrayed by the cackling mirth of a treacherous branch underfoot, or worse, the narrowing eyes of the quadruped that sleeps in the rat hole that he yearned to leave under his own power.

Emboldened by the rusted spooling of his own mortal coil, he reaches into the leather-bound chasm on his hip, plucking his quarry from the depths, clutching the feather-light envelope, abandoning it to the screen door punctured with violence, a doorbell playing his swift exit into the welcoming night.

Yokel: Hoo-eee! A real-life doctor! Ma! get my scribblin’ stick, we is on easy street now!

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