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‘Tis the Season

Cards of all sizes, sent with colorful stamps and mass-produced greetings, tumble from my mail box, each one a silent reproach against me and the stack of un-signed, un-stamped, un-addressed, and (most importantly) un-sent cards sitting on my desk. Long letters from half-remembered friends point out in tiny and ornate fonts that I have not had children (or grandchildren, or nieces, or nephews, or offspring of any kind), have not published a book, have not gone on a cruise, have not recently graduated from anything, have not started a not-for-profit organization or advocacy group (or a company of any kind). Nor have I recently adopted anything that would otherwise have gone homeless, or invented anything that will surely revolutionize … anything.

I will not be writing a letter this year. I have never written a letter. There’s a fine line between writing resume cover letters and Christmas letters, and I’ve seen too few actual Christmas letters to be any judge of my own writing during this season.

Truth be told, I’ll be lucky to send out a mailing of any kind this year, no matter how silently my stacked cards reproach me from the desk. And if I do, I will limit myself to an unimaginative, though legibly printed, “Merry Christmas, Love Iris.” I will concentrate on spelling names correctly and keeping names properly matched with addresses.

Next month I will go back to opening my mail box with anticipation rather than dread.

[Update: All that moaning and 45 cards later (many with individualized notes, no less), I’m done. Now I’m at liberty to enjoy any cards that should come my way in the next few weeks, secure in the knowledge that my cards are no longer on my desk.]

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  1. Julian Julian

    What about the cards with the elaborate family holiday photos (all pets included) in front of a fireplace or large staircase (from their own home or in a studio)?

    I completely feel you on the whole thing with the holiday cards and letters. This can be a tough time of the year. To look on the bright side, you did have an article published this year.

  2. Iris Iris

    I’ve even been IN one of those photos, with the whole family, and the dog, in front of my family’s fire place. :) I think that was the card insert two years ago.

    And you’re right. I haven’t exactly been sitting on my hands all year. But I also have a healthy sense of how little anyone really cares about metadata usage by Joe Schmoe Web Author. Most people joke about their writing curing insomia; mine really will. :)

    Still, I’m not so upset with hearing about people’s exploits through the previous year. I just dislike the letters I get every year from one or two people who should probably be knighted for their labors on the behalf of mankind.

  3. Mark Mark

    I have yet to send out a single card this year. I *have* cards–just haven’t printed labels, signed a one, or bought extra stamps. Luckily, I’ve only received one so far. Moved in the middle of the year and most don’t know that.

    For the last 8 years I have been ending (or almost ending) a semester two-weeks before Christmas. Some years I make the transition better than others.

    I haven’t even bought a single present yet. :(

    Be good to yourself, Iris.

  4. Iris Iris

    Yeah, I hate fast turn-around between school and life. Right now I’m feeling all nostalgic about school breaks in general, since our “breaks” are stuffed full of all the work we can’t do during the term. But I know that memory is selective and I probably have more “free” time now than I did when I was in school AND working.

    But don’t beat yourself up, Mark. Everything important will get done. And whatever you don’t get done you can redefine as unimportant. :)

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