Why do we do it? Does the end truly justify the means? Does anybody really care? I mean really care about holiday cards? Here are nine reasons to consider skipping them this year…
1. The Letter: You choose to write the damn thing, despite popular opinion that in general these letters are at best worth skimming through to the end, and at worst, not so much. You put a lot of pressure on yourself to make your letter fall into the former category. The editing process itself is brutally time consuming and beyond exhausting, but you’re fairly confident at the end of it all that your mom will definitely (probably) read it in its entirety.
2. The Paper. You certainly can’t print off your masterpiece on a plain white sheet of paper, unless you want to put it on the fast track to your recipient’s recycling bin. “Nice touch with the office paper. Maybe next time you can scribble your heartfelt message with a brown crayon on a piece of notebook paper and not tear the edging off for that extra special touch.”
3. The Format. Once you buy the paper that both compliments your family’s personality as well as the contents of your very personalized letter, you will spend hours attempting to format it to ensure the words fit perfectly amongst the snowflakes and wintery backdrop you’ve carefully selected, only to realize that the fucking snowman’s left boot at the bottom right hand corner of the page is obstructing your wishes for a happy holiday season, which is obviously the sole purpose of the letter! Change font, edit margins, drink 2 bottles of wine, and finally decide to decrease the font size to a degree in which only a Christmas elf’s eyes could read without a magnifying glass on a good day. Increase “Happy Holidays” to 20-point bold font and call it a day.
4. The Family Photo: Selecting one picture always seems like the simplest route, right up until the moment you realize that after combing through your photo files for several hours you do not have one picture of your family that is suitable for a spot on even your own refrigerator. “Seriously? How can we not have one single picture from the whole entire year that doesn’t make one or all of us look like a bunch of dysfunctional rejects?”
5. The Family Photo, Plan B: You decide one picture is not the path for you and begin frantically arranging, cropping, and rearranging the perfect collage that will scream above and beyond everyone else’s on the display wall, “How adorable! Just perfect! Peace on Earth indeed!”
6. The Address List: Now you’re really having fun. Inevitably a handful of your friends have moved in the past year, surely for the sole purpose of making this process even more miserable for you. You consider removing them from your list for being such inconsiderate assholes, but decide to put the leg work into figuring out where they actually live now so they aren’t so unbelievably disappointed and thereby cancel Christmas as a result of not receiving your card. You’re a good friend.
7. Stuffing of the Envelopes: With the address labels ready to go and your entire monthly paycheck transferred over to the U.S. Postal Service to cover the cost of postage, now begins the last and least enjoyable leg of this ridiculously mind numbing journey, the physical act of stuffing. Of course your stupid letter doesn’t fit inside the envelope provided by the photo company without using your pathetic attempt at origami. Fold, refold, and then mistakenly fold the fucking photo card in the process. “Great, Buddy’s face has a crinkle in it now, and you have no extras!” You place a sticky note on it that says, “Send this one to great step-aunt Mabel.”
8. Toxic Ingestion: You reluctantly begin the licking. It’s absolutely awful, but you are not a quitter, so you keep licking, and licking, and licking. Half way through, your husband’s concern for your pale green complexion prompts him to suggest that maybe you should consider using a damp sponge, to which you respond with an eye roll and then carry on with your own undesirable method just because you’re that stubborn and apparently not all that smart to boot.
9. The sad truth: “I THROW ALL OF MY CHRISTMAS CARDS AWAY and I KNOW THAT YOU DO TOO!!!”
Related post: A No-Bullshit Holiday Newsletter