We’ve exchanged the same Christmas card for 50 years
Baptist friends keeping up a tradition that began half a century ago
As apprentice technicians working for the same company, David Eyre and Douglas Sellers once shared thoughts on the purpose of Christmas greetings.
The conversation saw them dismissing the commercial hype that goes with sending expensive Christmas cards.
So, in 1967 David decided to return the budget priced card Douglas had sent him the previous year.
Since then, despite a long separation by career changes, the same card has winged its way back and forth between Douglas, a member of Spurgeon Baptist Church in Bletchley and David, a member of Bromham Baptist Church near Bedford.
It's usually sent by second-class post and the hand-written greetings now cover both sides.
But this year Douglas hand-delivered the card at David’s home – 50 years after its first delivery.
'It's quite fragile now,' says Douglas, 'we have to take good care of it. It was only a very cheap card, the cheapest you could find.
'But it features a nativity scene, which has become very rare. Christmas has certainly become more over the top - it's all ho, ho, ho and flashing lights. We see very little about the Christmas child.
'When I have the card, it gets pride of place in a little alcove and stays on display the rest of the year. I think David does the same.'
The tradition has endured amid life changes. After some years working for different organisations, the pair came together again to work for Granada in Bedford, with David becoming Douglas's boss. There they became closer friends and shared their Christian growth and experiences.
Both have now retired from their full-time jobs, and see each other a couple of times a year.
'Back when we started this, we didn't really think ahead, that it would be going this long,' Douglas continued, 'It was also long before recycling became fashionable!
'But I always look forward to receiving it. Many people see Christmas cards as a chore and so simply give money to charities in lieu of the effort and expense. David and I both support individual charities, but we continue to send cards to friends and family who we don’t see daily to keep the personal touch alive.'