Tuesday, December 8, 2009

A View of the Holiday: The Bad ...

Yesterday I covered some of the fun of the season: watching Christmas movies! Today I'm moaning about some of the stuff that's not so fun.

Do you send Christmas cards? And if you do, what type of sender are you? What? You didn't know there were different types of Christmas card senders? Sure you did.

There's the type that picks a beautiful card. They write a long, chatty newsletter on red or green paper, filled with the events their family enjoyed throughout the past twelve months. Their list of card recipients resembles Santa's "nice" list in length, but they still take time to write a little personal note in each card. They have holiday stamps and seals to adorn the envelope, and you usually receive their card within a few days after Thanksgiving. Are you one of those? You know, the annoying ones?

Then there's the kind of people that pick out a great card. They don't usually have as long a list, but they write a little personal note in the cards they send out. They collect the cards that come to them and display them in a beautiful Christmas arrangement that not only adds to the decorations, but also shows people just how many friends they have. And somehow all of their friends send just as beautiful a card as they do.

Rushed people also do cards. They scramble to get all their cards done on time, but it's usually about halfway through December before they're all out. They sign the names of all their family members on the card, although if they have more than two children, they're likely to simply sign "Bob and Jane and the kids", rather than writing out all the kids' names. They might use holiday stamps, but in a pinch they'll use a plain one, just to get the job done so they can move on to other things.

Then there's the people that buy the box of assorted Christmas cards at the Dollar Store. You can recognize them because that's probably why you have a penguin or a kitten on the front of your card. That's what was next in the box. Their Christmas card list consists of anyone who sent them a card this year. Every time they get a card in the mail, they pull another card out of the box, slap on an address label and mail it off--right up until Christmas Eve.

The last group is the well-off ones. They have beautiful embossed cards printed with a wonderful message. The printing includes the signing of their name, so they don't actually have to write in any of the cards at all. And their secretary stuffs the envelopes, prints off the address labels and uses the company postage meter before dropping them in the mail.

Which type of card sender are you? Which type do you think I am? : )

See, here's my thinking on cards. I have to do them. I want to get a lot of Christmas cards in the mail. I want the physical proof that people actually like me and are thinking of me during the holiday season. Even the ones sending pre-printed cards--I envision a little gleam in their eye as they see my name and address on that label. They thought enough of me that they spent the money on the card and the .44 postage (it is .44 cents still, isn't it?) in order to send the message that they were thinking of me this season.

With that in mind, when you get my card you can know I was thinking of you. Even if the card does have a puppy curled up next to the fireplace on the front. Even if I sign it "and kids". Hey, when you've got as many as I do, you could do serious physical damage to your wrist trying to write out that many names that many times.

As for the letter or the little personal notes? Well, if you want to know what we've been up to throughout the year, follow my blog. Or sign up to be my facebook friend. (That would have to be after the new year, when I actually have a facebook page.) Let's face it. My life isn't that interesting anyway. And I like to stay humble. Sometimes those Christmas letters are just a means of letting everyone know you went to Europe for the summer. Good for you. Where's my souvenir?

See, if you haven't heard from me all year or I haven't heard from you, there's probably a good reason for it. Don't try to make our friendship into something deeper. Be content with the fact that I at least think enough of you to think of you this time of year and hope you have a Merry Christmas. But to be honest, I don't really need to hear that you did have one.

And if you want to know how my holiday season turns out, keep turning up here.

Merry Christmas.


  1. Dearest Jill,
    I love your post on Christmas cards. I have to admit I am a little of all types. I make a point to get the Christmas stamps, I primp and poise the family for the picture, I order them early so I have them to send out early and this will be the first year I DON'T send out a Christmas letter. Because as you pointed out, if you know us, read my blog or are my facebook friend you KNOW all about it. I had to laugh because one of my "girlfriends" had this longgggg letter with her photo card, (Do we really need a letter book to tell us how much Reagan and Jack have grown we can SEE it in the picture!) ANyhoo, you were right it was full of "And we took a trip here...and so so got this on his birthday...and we took the kids to disney AGAIN." Yep. I'm with you, where's my souvenir?
    And if I haven't received a card from you in two years I stop sending you one, then that is the year I get one from them! Which tells me they think of me, just not enough to send one unless I "forget". Hmpf.
    Oh and I should I am also the type that BUYS Hallmark cards for my husband, kids, Mother and in-law parents. You know, the SPECIAL people get the SPECIAL cards that sit in the tree to be open on Christmas that are a gift onto them selves with perfectly versed sayings chosen just for them that are meant to speak our hearts and make them CRY with that special cherished feeling! I think you forgot to add that type to your list. ;)
    Thank you for making me laugh AGAIN. I love your wit. I beleive I've found a new blog friend. So please don't forget to send me one of those cute dollar store cards! ;)
    Love and Blessings.

  2. I love cards -- giving and receiving! =) We do photo cards, though, because, well, I love photos so photos + cards = happy me! lol

  3. I usually fall into the 'rushed' category. I've always got a lot of good intentions, but the truth is that sometimes my cards may arrive shortly after Christmas.

    This year, as you probably know, no cards for me.

    I do kinda feel like I blog nearly every day and if people want to keep up with our family, it's simple. We're not exactly hiding, so I see no point in the long update card...at least for us.

    I just wish stamps weren't so dang expensive!

  4. Yes, I send cards with our family picture EVERY year. Now this year... going through a divorce... I have no CLUE what I'm gonna do. I'm totally confused by it. *sigh*

  5. Oh my goodness.....I sent a letter one time in my life, and that was it. Some years we never sent out cards at all, just never got it done!

    Do you give a card to everyone in your church? I always struggle with that, as I either feel like we have to give one out to everyone, or give out none, because I hate the thought of somebody saying "Did you get a card from the pastor's family? You didn't? I did."

    That happened and the person actually had the card, but just hadn't seen it yet.

    So, my friend, how do you handle that?

  6. ooops, I totally forgot I was in my "Five Mom's" persona and thought I was "me," lol!

    ~ Nan

  7. Absolutely I give a card to everyone in our church. We have a small church so it's not that difficult, but in our home church in Alabama they had almost 700 members. That's a lot of families! But my husband wasn't the pastor either so we could pick and chose who got cards.


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