Merry whatever — here’s your card from my delightful family

It’s December, so it’s time to put together some sort of stock greeting card with pictures of my kids on it so people don’t think we don’t love them anymore. The kids, that is.


The recipients are all grownups and should be able to deal if we miss sending them an effing card one year.

The first problem is, I can’t find any photos of the kids that are any good, unless you count that time last month when I did a full photo shoot after my son was covered in hives in a medication incident gone wrong, or the inexplicable hundreds of shots I took of the little one next to an inflatable display of ghosts and the word boo.

Both are a little unorthodox for a holiday card, but why not? Not everyone has time for a full photo shoot with rented reindeer. Not every family can hire a photographer to follow them as they cavort in the trees and cast sly, coquettish glances at the lens. (Yes, as a group. The family that throws flirty, furtive looks at the camera together stays together, after all.)

I’ve started to receive cards from more organized people who are better at doing the right thing, and doing the right thing on time.

I’ve noticed that in recent years, many families have left behind uninspired glossy factory postcards and moved on to sending matte, understated, artistically designed masterpieces. Tasteful, Pottery Barn-inspired cards for tasteful, Pottery-barn inspired people. The part I didn’t expect was that they are also being sold at tasteful, Pottery Barn prices.

At least a buck thirty-nine per card? I’ll pass, thank you. I’m way too cheap to demonstrate my undying familial love at that price.

Every year, I try to strike a balance between Christmas and Hanukkah on the cards, since we celebrate both but our families only get one holiday each. (Suckers?) We had been drifting toward black, gold, silver or blue themes for some time, with a message of “Happy Holidays,” “Season’s Greetings” or “Joy.”

The “Joy” part has always been baffling, since I can’t tell if I’m sending the recipients some joy or merely bragging that we’ve got it, and they don’t, as seen in our smug photos.

There are also cards that just read “Happy.” That doesn’t really do the trick for me, but I’d be overjoyed to find a nice metallic print with a giant “Happy?” As in, “Happy? Here’s your damned card.” (But there’s no way that could fit in such a small space.)

But last year, in a moment of genius (thank you), I had the idea to send out New Year’s cards.

That skips the need for the whole Chrismukkah balancing act, and we get to acknowledge a holiday that everyone celebrates.

And the best part is, we simply need to get the cards out sometime before 2016.

Comments welcome! Did your cards all go out in November? Or are you on the January plan, too? 


Comments: What do you think?

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