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Monday, December 19, 2011

And If I Put It Off for Another Couple Days, I Won't Have to Do It At All

So help me, it’s time to get serious about my Christmas card list.

I’ve got the box of cards; I’ve got the stamps and the address book arranged around me. I’ve got the TV set to Forensic Files. I’m ready to go.

Now I just have to build up the desire necessary to address 50-some cards and envelopes.

I’ve attempted to create this desire in me by folding laundry, eating nachos, drinking copious amounts of Fresca, visiting my favorite blogs, and texting friends. I’ve made a grocery list. I made ham and bean soup. I did the dishes. I’ve considered cleaning the cat box.

Oddly enough, my cards still aren’t done.

This doesn’t surprise me. I can be ridiculously task-averse. Go ahead. Tell me what to do.

See? Whatever you just said? I haven't done it.

But deadlines. Oh, I do take a deadline seriously. The “drop-dead” date, as they say in the corporates. I’m apt to take seriously something that uses the word “dead” in the description. Seems pretty final.

And there’s no real room for negotiation on, say, a holiday card.

So here it is: I’m going to open this lousy box; I’m going to use my return-address labels rather than hand-writing my return address fifty-some times, even if some people think it’s tacky; I’m going to pull out my address book and figure out whose been naughty and nice. I’m going to get it done tonight.

Wait. Does that sound cocky? The naughty-and-nice bit? What is the expectation on cards, anyway? If I’ve sent you a card for several years running but never gotten one back, I’m perfectly within societal boundaries if I drop you from my list, right?

Right?

I must have the rules around here someplace...

Happy Seasonal Expectations, everyone!

46 comments:

Susan in the Boonies said...

Wait: so all this time, I should have been watching Forensic Files?

I'm going to check it out, and think of you, and wonder why I'm not on your list...

~sigh~

mybabyjohn/Delores said...

In my book of Christmas Rules Regarding Cards it says to 1: if you see the person once a week or more no card is required 2: if you don't get a card back cross them off the list 3: if you can call them for free no card is required 4: IF YOU DON'T WANT TO YOU DON'T HAVE TO. I'll send you a copy.

Shelly said...

You are right- if you haven't heard from them in a while, they've excised themselves from your list.

I put mine off, too. I tried to do some while I was running on the treadmill last night, in an epic Procrastination + Multi-Tasking = Kind of a Jumbled Mess type thing. I hope they won't mind the herky-jerky handwriting.

R. Jacob said...

nope, no cards, no lights, no tree
bah humbug!

ellen abbott said...

I have a better idea. Chuck the whole thing. When it becomes an obligation it's time to let it go.

Vicus Scurra said...

I so empathise with you, sister. Still haven't done my card yet. People are crying with nervous anticipation. Responsibility - who'd have it?

Vicus Scurra said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Sioux said...

I'm the Queen of Task Avoidance. Tweezing eyebrows...Organizing the hall medicine closet...Brushing the dog...Evicting those non-rent paying spiders from their cobwebs...They all butt to the front of the line when Christmas cards (or report cards, right now) need to be done.

Leenie said...

I'm with ellen abbott. But if it means you stop by to visit instead of writing addresses I'm okay with that!

Simply Suthern said...

We recieved a free return address ink stamp from our mortgage company for Christmas just in time for Christmas cards.

Licking the stamp adds that nice personal touch but makes me look like the neighbors Chow.

Eva Gallant said...

I gave up sending Christmas cards Now I just call the people I care about and wish them a happy holiday. Lazy, I know, but I have unlimited long distance and stamps keep going up in price.

Jocelyn said...

I'm still stunned the Fresca didn't do the trick. Stunned.

So do you actually WRITE a note to each person, or are you signing the cards and then sealing them up? One of my besties says opening cards that are pre-printed by, say, Halllmark and then signing one's name only is "like getting a freeze-dried hug."

So there. Not only do you have the pressure of addressing and stamping--now you have the pressure to write something lovely and interesting and personal.

Time for another Fresca.

Kristy said...

Getting those cards out are the bane of my existence!

jenny_o said...

Even after Christmas is over, I still feel the obligation to send cards. If I do it by New Year's, I use the Christmas cards. If it drags on longer than that, I resort to little note cards, and reduce the list drastically.

I dearly wish I could watch TV while writing cards. Doesn't work. I end up with missing words, sentences that don't make sense, and chameleon changes in handwriting from where I've stopped and started during the good parts of the show. Multi-tasking - not my forte.

Green Girl in Wisconsin said...

I vote for doing what makes you feel happiest. If the cards make you feel angry, you need to drop them like a bad habit.

24 Corners said...

Right there with ya Pearl! Mine have been stacked by the futon, waiting patiently for me to start...thought that would be last night, but no, it wouldn't have been right to take my focus away from two Iron Chef's in a row...that would be unthinkable! We'll have to try again tonight...the cards are getting restless.
Best of luck...
xo J~

Tom G. said...

Yes, but are your cards printed on recycled paper by orphan children in Guatemala? There is no end to the escalation of mutually assured holiday stressification.

Going on year #5 without sending Christmas cards. Our incoming card count is now down below 10.

Tacky? Lazy? Antisocial? Green? Environmentally friendly? Socially conscious? It's all a matter of perspective.

SparkleFarkle said...

You are a "card," my friend! (Enjoyed this post immensely!)

Douglas said...

Christmas (may I use that word?) cards are how we learn who died in the last year. We have a perfected method here; we buy a huge number of the same holiday neutral cards, stamp each with with a neutral message and scribble at the bottom (pretend signature) and mail them out using those stamps that don't need licking.

Next year, we'll just text everyone.

jabblog said...

I hate writing Christmas cards and get really grumpy doing them. Sometimes I write one of the dreaded 'Round Robin' letters - not this year.
My condolences:-)

Sarah said...

My family never sent out Christmas cards that I can recall, and now that I'm an "adult" I have no idea what the rules are either. Friends seem to start sending them once they have kidlets; perhaps this is the rule? If so *whew* another Christmas avoiding this tradition!

Simon black said...

Great post.

NYEMT said...

Procrastination is like masturbation: in the long run you're only screwing yourself.

If it's any consolation, I have a couple boxes of Christmas cards that have been in the house for going on ten years and haven't been sent out. :)

StephanieC said...

I was just wondering today if I got them done and in the mail by tomorrow morning if it would be worth it/they would still make it.

But, since I am still sitting here in my PJs, trying not to throw up while nibbling on gluten free toast, I think they're gonna have to wait regardless.

Hope it goes smoothly... and I think return address labels are the only sane way to do it.

Pearl said...

I feel I must step in here.

The cards are out. :-) So on the one hand, yay, me, and on the other hand, what? no personalized greeting?!

I think I cling to the card sending because I so love getting anything in the mail that is not a bill or a solicitation of some sort. The sight of a colored envelope makes me happy, so I guess that's the crux of it -- I send them in the hopes that I'll get them.

Dr. Kathy McCoy said...

Me,too, Pearl! I love getting Christmas cards and notes from friends, especially those I only hear from at Christmas these days. I'm afraid, at my age, that if I don't send cards, some faraway friends will think I've died and cross me off their lists! Yikes! Showing signs of life! Getting those cards out! Just send the last one! (

Steve Bailey said...

Ya I think just a blanket holiday card blog post is enough... in fact you have inspired me to do just that! Thanks!!! Now what embarrassing Christmas sweater to wear for the photo?

Rawknrobyn.blogspot.com said...

Oh, holiday cards? Oops.

Merry Christmas, Pearl.
xoRobyn

The Elephant's Child said...

Here, that task has been crossed off. Only because there are other tasks I dread more. Like wrapping.

Bodacious Boomer said...

We finally decided to go to all cyber greetings. It's a freeing feeling. You should think about it kiddo.

ho ho ho :)

Bouncin' Barb said...

It was e-Cards for me this year Pearl. Either that or none at all! Good luck! Hugs.

G said...

My house has never been as clean as when I've got cards to write....happy Christmas!

fishducky said...

Some wise man once said that there's no job you can't accomplish right now--as long as there's something else you SHOULD be doing.

There are some (necessary?) chores you can postpone indefinitely. I think it was Erma Bombeck who said that if you sprinkle your kid's clothes, roll them up & put them in the refrigerator, they will eventually outgrow them--thus solving your ironing problem Glad to have been of help.

vanilla said...

Send 'em all a mass email, blind cc of course. Use the stamps later for letters to people you really like. You do have my address?

Steadfast Ahoy! said...

Today, I went to write another Card to someone who surprised me with one (and I hadn't sent her one, so now I had to....) and I found a card already written but still in the box with no corresponding envelope. That means...yes, that's right, I sent "something else" in the envelope addresssed to that person. Oh brother, this Christmass card thing is getting out of control!!! Still, I do love getting cards. It's just the sitting down and doing it myself that is so hard....and appearantly, mindless.
Rosemary

Cloudia said...

Am hiding out! don't tell on me. Shhh!



Aloha from Honolulu
Comfort Spiral

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Belle said...

I just thought of Christmas cards a few days ago. I decided for the first year ever to forget it. I'm just too tired. Oh well, there's always next year!

Diane said...

My philosophy? Never put off till tomorrow what you can put off FOREVER! And I follow that up with the 'Email Christmas Letter'! Taking tacky to a whole new level!

Sush said...

Ummm no cards coming from me...I'm too busy with Forensic Files, but you go girl!
Hugs~

Crystal Pistol said...

Well good on you for sending out cards. I didn't do it this year. Or last. I feel terribly guilty about that. ...But not guilty enough to send them, I guess.

I too appreciate getting red envelopes in the mail. Perhaps I will do better next year.

I have never seen that forensics show you speak of... And, you drink Fresca, huh? I'm a diet coke girl. It's a nasty habit. I'm surely pickling my liver slowly.

Symdaddy said...

Yes,I know I'm late with this response but, hey! Some of us have other things to do ... some of which can wait until tomorrow ... but most of it has to be done as and when 'she who must be obeyed' demands.

After reading though 40+ replies, I find it difficult to recall what it was that you in fact wrote, so, if you don't mind, I will just say Merry What-ya-ma-call-it and a Happy New Chair!

Glen said...

If only there was some new fangled way of sending Happy Christmas to people electrically. some special mail system that could deliver the - what I'm going to call - ecard to them in an instant.

It could even somehow remember the list so that you can do it on auto next year.

if the person wanted specifically to litter their room with tons of cards that fall over everytime the door opens, then they would have an option to use a special magic machine they have in their house to "draw" the ecard onto a special bit of card or paper.

it needs some work - but could just work.

meanwhile I tend to find that it's the "naughty" ones that are worth keeping in touch with ;-)

River said...

You have two options.
1) starting January first, address two or three cards per week until December. Then they're done and you can just post them.

2) send e-cards instead. Pick a sparkly one and send it to 50 people. Done in one night.

Gigi said...

Good for you for getting it done! I didn't send any last year and probably won't send any this year - at last count my list was over 100 and with the price of stamps there is just no way.

the walking man said...

Rule 1 concerning Christmas cards...why bother just send an email to all fifty people at once.

Pat Tillett said...

Christmas gifts: If I haven't finished my shopping by Thanksgiving, it's not getting bought.
Christmaas cards: Me to wife, "if you want them sent out, do it yourself." Wife to me, "you suck!"