Tuesday, December 09, 2008

The polite tradition of Christmas card greetings.




Part One: Who to send to, what to send, and what to write.


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It is appropriate to send cards to those we love, friends and relatives; as well as acquaintances we are fond of, business associates, and so on.


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Of course one must be sensitive to the recipient's taste. Now if you are the type who likes to send humorous cards or say something snappy in a serious card, there are some rules to follow. For example, with acquaintances, it is always good advice that if you can't think of anything funny to write, buy a funny card. I love funny cards, but not everyone may appreciate our sense of humor. Especially if one is sending to relatives.


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I speak from experience. Once I sent my late father a birthday card with a vintage photo of a 1950's era family on the cover and the caption read, "The Nelson's outside to view the full moon." The family was shown admiring a huge butt sticking out of the ground. When you opened the card it read, "Happy birthday!" I was sure dad would think it was funny, not simply because our surname was used, but because of the charming colloquialisms he enjoyed using when he was cross with me, or simply exasperated... Oh how I loved the way he would shout, "Your ass sucks buttermilk" or "You talk like you have a paper ass" after I said something he thought was stupid. That guy could really turn a phrase. Unfortunately he didn't make that connection, and as usual, he mistook my attempt at humor for sarcasm and asked my sister, "What the hell was that bastard trying to prove with that piece of s--t?"


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That said, cards for relatives should probably either be of the religious type or traditional images of Christmas houses magically lit in some snowy countryside - you know, of the Hallmark variety - with lovely sentiments composed by someone who probably writes personal horoscopes for a fashion magazine on the side. But read it carefully before selecting it, since the lovely sentiments can be taken the wrong way too. Case in point...


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Once I gave my mom a beautiful Hallmark card with script describing a wonderful mother and son relationship. She read it, turned it over to check the price, and looked at me and said, "What kind of dig is this?" So sometimes just a really pretty card with a simple signature in your very best handwriting is best for close relatives: "Love, your son, or your brother, or your sister, and then your proper name - no last names though". I found that usually worked out for the best.

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Look for more Christmas tips in the days leading up to the holidays.

4 comments:

  1. thanks ...

    i needed that!

    ReplyDelete
  2. gette1:19 PM

    LOL! Oh man! It's pretty apparent that your folks always expected some double entendre or deeper meaning from you. Must be the Catholic guilt thing.

    ReplyDelete
  3. "You talk like you have a paper ass"!!!! Well, saves on toilet paper.

    ReplyDelete
  4. "You talk like you have a paper ass" made me laugh out loud.
    Then my 2-year-old came over to the computer to see what was so funny.
    Ummm......nothing......
    I'm STILL laughing.
    How come Cathy of Alex never told me you were so funny?

    ReplyDelete


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