The annual dusting off of the address book

The annual dusting off of the address book

It’s funny the things that cross your mind this time of year, isn’t it? This week it has been address books.

The house is oddly bear after the annual removal of the decorations.  I must admit that I am silently cheering.  It is like that story, A Squash and a Squeeze.  All through the festive period, the house is snug and feels small and crowded, yet in January, it seems clean and spacious once the trimmings are all back in their boxes.

Christmas cards were definitely not in abundance this year.  I don’t keep a record of who I receive them from, my mum has a system and sends, ticks off when she has a card back and only sends to those who sent her one from the previous year.  But I felt like I sent significantly less too. Are Christmas cards slowly dying out?

Writing the cards is a bit of ritual, a time to remember those people we might otherwise forget, thanks to the pace of life. I think that Christmas is the only time of year when I dust off my address book ready for the official ‘writing of the cards’ ceremony. I can’t even remember how old the address book is but it must be older than at least three of my children.

Each year I work my way through it, sigh at the names and addresses of friends we have lost touch with, pause and think about family members we have lost. But for all of the sadness, there is a celebration of friendships that have stood the test of time, or at least the test of no time to actually see each other anymore. Enjoy seeing the names of new friends. Except very few of my newer friends get added to the address book.  They are often school mums or work colleagues who, if we are on Christmas card sending terms, get their card hand delivered with a smile.

I wonder if address books are a thing of the past too.  As I flick through the pages filled with my untidy scrawl, it is one of the few places where I still write things down as most things are now online. One friend has her contacts all online and prints off address labels for her cards. I wish I was that organised. Having said that, I think having a handwritten card with a message is still worth having and I hope that people do keep up the tradition.

There was a tiny address book in one of the crackers we pulled over Christmas, about an inch square.  The kids were asking what exactly an address book was and their faces were a picture?  Why would you want to write down people’s addresses?  Why not just contact them on social media?  I did joke that with the number of people I actually send cards to these days, that tiny address book might be a perfect size.  I thought it was quite funny but all it raised from the kids was an eye roll.

Maybe address books will be another of those things that disappear, another thing to add to the list of long forgotten things from our lives that our kids find completely alien?  Who knows?

What about you, do you have an address book?

Is the old address book a thing of the past?




  1. January 8, 2018 / 8:09 am

    I seem to use my address book quite often as I’m terrible at directions so I need it to find my way to someone’s house even if they live locally! I also use it to note down when friends have babies, their names and the year that they were born as I always find myself trawling through Facebook to find out!

    • Nikki Thomas
      January 8, 2018 / 9:36 am

      That’s good that you still use one, I did look at buying a new one that I could use for other things too as I think it would be much better if it was combined with other things

  2. Mrs Nige
    January 8, 2018 / 10:31 am

    Funnily enough my youngest son (25) asked for an address book for Christmas. I bought one and put in the names and addresses of all his Aunts, Uncles and cousins so that in the event if him needingvto contact people on my behalf he has ghe means to do so easily. My eldest also was given one when he left home and his now wife has taken it on and added all her relatives too. Contacts on the computer or phone are all well and good if you have the access to them but it may not be practical at the time of need.

    • Nikki Thomas
      January 8, 2018 / 10:16 pm

      That is such a lovely idea to give them one as an adult. I would never have thought about doing it but it is a good way of encouraging them to keep in touch with people and of course if anything happens it would be so useful too

  3. January 8, 2018 / 10:42 pm

    I have to admit that I haven’t used an address book for years and tend to google the parts of addresses I remember until I get the rest (usually the postcode). I did think about getting a filofax the other day – my Mom swore by it. I did notice the cards on the decline this year (with most of them being for our 8 year old).

    I still write down in a diary and calendar though.

  4. January 9, 2018 / 12:06 pm

    This is so true! My address book is literally only used for Christmas cards these days – otherwise i email, text or phone. But I love the idea of giving address books to children when they leave home – though I might be adding email and phone numbers as well as the traditional addresses.

  5. January 9, 2018 / 2:43 pm

    This really made me smile! I do have an address book and it comes out frequently for family and friends’ birthdays, not to mention Christmas cards and thank you letters! The kids type their letters, but at least they do send them, albeit with a bit of nagging from me! I think Christmas cards are definitely dying out though and there is a definite trend not to send them to new friends.

  6. January 10, 2018 / 8:18 pm

    I don’t have a physical address book but I do keep addresses in my contacts on my phone. If I know someone’s address it gets added to their name on my phone. I don’t remember the last time I used a physical address book. However I do think you’re right about the hand-written cards, it’s always lovely to receive one. 🙂

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