Friday, December 11, 2009
I have never been one to receive a lot of Christmas cards. Maybe because I’ve never sent one; not one, ever. Oh, I’ve purchased cards, even signed them with inspirational and personal notes. “I saw this quote from Walt W and thought of you…” or “As Emily D once wrote…”
But one cannot just buy and sign cards, one must send them as well. Aye there’s the rub, as William S has said. And mine languish in the desk, facing an unhappy Memorial Day of discovery and disposal.
My popular friends, on the other hand, practice the rule of reciprocity and reap the rewards, with Christmas cards four or five deep, straddling those show-offy strings that stretch from one room to the next. They accompany this garish display with a little disingenuous grousing -- 'Wherever will I put all the cards that are sure arrive tomorrow?'
One year I received a career-high of fifty Christmas cards, and that was only because so many people worked for me, plus I padded the count with anything received via professional affiliations such as Radio Shack and my dental hygienist. Most years the tally is far more modest.
Join me, and let’s blame my childhood.
The parents made a huge deal out of Christmas cards, and maintained a mailing list the size of a Dickens novel. Card selection started around October when they’d visit shops and flip through albums full of samples. For all that, Dad and Mum made pretty much the same choice year after year -- someone on the card would be drunk. For example, Santa in a martini glass singing “Bingle Jells.”
(Ah, what can I say? We Bugge's are a simple people who don't mind a shot of eggnog now and then.)
As a family, we would spend days addressing hundreds of envelopes by hand. This was to add the personal touch; strangely, I always thought, since the cards were embossed with a pre-printed “From the Bugge’s.” on the inside. But I think I get it now. The envelope said we cared, the card said we had money.
Virtual Christmas greetings offer an alternative to the card-challenged such as me, but even those need an address. Maybe I’ll just do a general post. You know, recycle the picture from one of the cards I received this year, and maybe add an inspirational message.
"God bless us everyone.” I saw this Charles D quote and most particulary thought of you.