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November 17, 2005

When You Care Enough to Send the Very Best

1954xmashumbugscrooge_3In just a few short weeks, the holiday catalogs and credit card offers in your mailbox will start giving way to a crush of greeting cards.  I'm always surprised by who sends me cards; most of my best friends don't bother, but my second cousin four-times removed on my mom's side--who shouldn't even have my address--will find the time to stamp an envelope and make me feel rotten for never sending them anything.  It's part of the joy of the holidays...reaching out to those you love and sharing the guilt...er, I mean blessings of the season.

What is also shared is pictures of kids.  For every Hallmark card with a nativity scene or a snowman on it, there's a photo card with someones poor child dressed up as Santa or Baby New Year.   Last year we had stacks of pictures of children in all sorts of embarrassing poses (many of whom we admittedly made fun of...hey, we're not saints over here.)  Sometimes they don't even bother with a card...it's just a postcard pre-printed with the family picture, staring vacantly out at you framed by the obligatory sponge-painted background.  I used to hate getting them, because...well, what am I supposed to do with them?  Do you expect me to keep them?  Can I throw them out?  Should I tape them to the fridge so I see them every time I reach in for last night's pizza?  And does a picture of a drooling infant with a stocking cap two sizes too big negate the need to hand write "seasons greetings?"  This from the guy who one year sent his cards out the day after Christmas. 

Now I'm in the embarrassing position of having a stack of photo cards in a box on our counter.  To be clear, my daughter is adorable and everybody should have a picture of her on their refrigerator.  You all want to...you just don't know it yet.  But now I wonder if there will be people like me who glance at it for a second, then toss it aside thinking about what a cheap bastard I am for not personalizing a card to them.  Or worse, they'll compare it to one of the other 500 picture cards they get and say, "eh....not as cute as Bob's kid."  I'm second-guessing this decision, but maybe I've just been a Scrooge all my life and am projecting.  What say you all?



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