Christmas this year will be as we’ve never known it.

It means I won’t be sneaking the Santa suit down from the loft to surprise and delight the grandkids. Presents will be delivered in advance of the big day with no physical contact – as will the birthday present for grandson Bailey McLaws who was born on Christmas Day 2009.

I’m not sure there is such a thing as a turkey for two? And who sends Christmas cards these days anyway? In 2005, more than 1.2 billion Christmas cards were posted in Britain – in 2019 that number had almost halved.

Having given this whole matter a little thought over recent days I’ve decided to help reverse this trend and keep alive the traditions of the season. I am going to buy and send more Christmas cards this year than ever before.

After all, I have more time on my hands than I’ve ever had in my lifetime.

I also have more people to personally thank for their friendship and support. It’s been the most difficult time – both practically and emotionally. Complex surgery to remove a lung which contained a malignant tumour followed by months of chemotherapy put me on the top rung of the high-risk register.

There’s nothing easy about living in a secluded bubble for almost a year but that’s what we’ve had to do to create a shield from a virus that would almost certainly kill me.

Many people have helped me and home-delivery supplies from my local supermarket have been a godsend. But I won’t be buying my Christmas cards from them.

I will buy my cards from Glasgow’s hospice online Prince and Princess of Wales Hospice charity shop this year. Everyone should buy directly from a charity they want to support.

Christmas is about giving and charities are desperately needing more of that right now.

And another thing – isn’t it just so rubbish to receive a card that carries nothing more than a quickly scrawled name below a pre-printed festive rhyme? Almost as pointless as a generic round-robin social media post featuring a random snow scene on your screen.

I plan to sit down and enjoy writing a personal message inside each and every card I send. I will also help bring the tree and decorations down from the loft. Then we will wrap the presents while watching a Christmas movie.

And when it comes to Christmas Day there will be something tasty in the oven and Skype calls will be made to happy grandkids and adult children.

Ally McLaws is managing director of the McLaws Consultancy, specialists in business marketing and reputation management. See the full range of services on offer and view all previous back issues of “Between These Four Walls” column at: