Apologies for the cliche, but I can’t believe we’re into December and it’s time to start writing Christmas cards!

Good quality cards don’t come cheaply and, environmentally, cards are something of a challenge as many include foil and glitter, rendering them un-recyclable.

Despite all of that, sending cards is traditional and a difficult habit to break.

Did you know that there is an etiquette to sending Christmas cards? It says that we should send cards only to people we rarely see.

Doing that will certainly cut card costs, save hours of time and do our bit for the planet.

We simply wish our close friends and family “Merry Christmas” when we see them and for people we never see a letter or email always goes down well.

Should you decide to buy cards, avoid large, heavy or particularly thick ones as these may tip postage costs into the next price band, which costs an extra 36p/23p depending on whether the card goes first or second class post.

Currently, standard a first class postage stamp costs 70p and it’s 60p for second class, so it makes sense to post in plenty of time and use second class.

UK posting dates are:

18th December - second class

20th December - first class

23rd December - special delivery

Airmail posting dates for overseas are:

December 9 - Africa, Asia, Caribbean, Central and South America, Far and Middle East.

December 10 - Cyprus and Malta

December 11 - Eastern Europe (except Czech Republic, Poland and Slovakia)

December 12 - Greece, Turkey, Australia and New Zealand

December 14 - Czech Republic, Finland, Italy, Poland, Sweden, Canada and USA

December 16 - Austria, Denmark, Germany, Iceland, Portugal, Netherlands, Norway, Slovakia, Switzerland and Spain

December 18 - Belgium, France, Ireland and Luxembourg

International Standard HM Forces Mail for static BFPOs is December 13.