Deb: When I was growing up my parents always sent Christmas cards. Most people did. It was the thing to do. They had their list of the usual suspects and an extra box waiting nearby in case some lesser friend or neighbour sent an unexpected card. Receiving an unexpected card would send my Mom into a frenzy. The second the surprise card was out of its envelope, my mom was––with split-second timing––signing, addressing, and running to the mailbox to do the Christmas card payback.
We do the same thing now. The little box of cards waiting for their chance to say to someone, “Hey, we didn’t really forget you and it’s not that we don’t like you, it’s just that you weren’t on the list”. After someone sends a surprise card they are on the list forever. They may never send us a card again, but from our end, they have joined the Christmas Card Club.
This year, as every year, we have to update the list to accommodate death, divorce, and relocation. It is an ugly reminder as the year comes to an end of all the changes that have occurred in the past year. But we do it dutifully and we send. We are senders of Christmas Cards, a tradition that is quickly going the way of the 8-track. I know that we should be “e-ing” our cards, but I just can’t break the tradition. I know how much I love getting cards in the mail ... the actual mail. I think it shows that someone cared and made an effort. And for no other reason, it is keeping an old and lovely tradition alive. Hell, we kill enough trees with other stuff.
When I had my own family, it was my turn to indulge in a special part of the Christmas card world that always eluded our family when I was growing up. The photo card! Love the photo cards! When I was a kid I would always look on with envy at people who sent the photo cards. By what Christmas miracle did they pull that together? The family seated around the fireplace all buffed and polished, decked out in their red and green finery, sporting festive smiles. I would stare and stare at the picture, scrutinizing each family member and thinking how I wanted to be in a photo card just once. Because I imagined, it wasn’t just the photo itself that was wonderful. It was the day surrounding it. I would envision them finishing the photo, then gathering around the buffet table for brunch still dressed in their red and green, eating perfect food and looking all the world like the definitive Christmas family.
We never did the photo thing in our family and I don’t know why. It might be because every time a camera rears its lens in my mother’s direction, she screeches, “For Godssake, don’t get me in the picture!” Despite her camera shy demeanor, I did think to myself, “Gee, my brother and I aren’t too horrible to look at, what about us?” Clearly I was deceiving myself. For example, 1966 was a particularly ugly Christmas for me and my brother, so if by some chance that happened to be the year my parents considered making a photo card, our awkward skinny, bad hair, pimply presentation nixed it!
But since then, with the aid of photo retouching and superior acne cream, I have picked up the photo card tradition. We don’t do it every year but we do it once in a while. This year was not an ugly year per say, but it was an ugly hair year for me. I was growing my hair out from very short back to a bob. The photo day in question was NOT a good hair day. Under most circumstances I would have forgone the photo for this year. But ... new puppy trumped my hair and we did the photo. So ...
From our Family to Yours
Pee’s on Earth,
Love, Colin, Deb Luke, Fanny and the Bairn
Barbara: Oh, my beautiful Deb—first of all, I think you look GORGEOUS in your Christmas photo, “bad” hair and all. And I know you know this already, but I LOVE these photos, period. So frickin’ cute I could stare at them all day. Luuuuuuke! And puuuuuuppies!!!
That said, I am a notoriously bad letter and card writer/sender (1. Ask my grandparents, and 2. See this post from June). So Christmas cards, sadly, are not on my list. BUT I love love love getting them (my selfish side on display for all of you).
Luckily, my husband has taken it upon himself to make sure we have a yearly festive photo that he will email out with good wishes. We haven’t done ours yet this year (he’s been crazy-busy), but I hope we can finagle something on time for the BIG DAY.
Beauty is, for the sake of playing fair, I can include a fave here. Stefanie has wanted us to do a really cheesy pose for ages now––which we may yet do––something in the vein of fifties sweater-sets and far-off gazes. But then one man’s cheesy is another man’s super-classy, so it might be tricky…
We will be blogging next week, but I still want to add to today’s cardly sentiments:
|Christmas Card 2005|
Our family wishes you all the best
Happy Holidays and Much Love and Joy
Barbara, Philippe, Stefanie, Michele, and Chaplin