Monday, December 13, 2010

Holiday Cards - ‘Me Writer, You Wronger’ Edition

Time for my annual rant about putting out the Uncool Family holiday cards, but with a tangy twist! This year I’m borrowing the “I’m Right, You’re Wrong” format from Marinka of Motherhood in NYC, a classy and sassy woman who I’d be lucky to have on my side during a knife fight at Zabar’s.

Cast of Disagreers: Uncool and My Love.

Disagreement: Do you need to hand write a personalized note in a holiday card when said card already includes: 1) a thorough and entertaining family newsletter and 2) all the family member’s names (dog included) expensively embossed inside?

Position 1: We do all that other stuff to AVOID having to personally communicate with these people, many of whom we haven’t seen since our wedding. A handwritten note is only necessary when adding essential and timely information, such as “Don’t pick the scabs!” or “Plead the Fifth when the Feds come!” Not exactly keeping with the spirit of glad tidings, though.

Position 2: People may not be able to read our chicken scratch but they’ll figure out we’re attempting a bit of personalized sincerity here, Scrooge!

Please weigh in. The stamps are burning a hole in my pocket.


  1. Personal Shmersonal. We don't even include a newsletter. We use a stamp. I stole it from my job at the post office. It just has the date on it. From 3 years ago.

  2. No further note is necessary. People appreciate the expense of personalized cards. I suggest adding a hearty "XOXO" to the cards if ML is dissatisfied. Unless you are sending it to a boss. In that case, you should add a fire-engine-red-lipstick kiss print.

  3. I just got a card that had a typed-in signature (not even embossed or in expensive gilt). I was shocked, I tell ya, shocked.

    In our household we compromise. He sends cards to his family and close friends. I send 'em to mine. He also gets "our" friends. Here's how it works:

    I'm old school. No newsletter; a short personal note if I care; and an illegible signature.

    My husband is all in favor of the personal note for everysinglebody plus a legible signature.

  4. 1.You must sign your own name. (Or in your case since you have already spent the money for embossing, handwritten "Merry Christmas" or "Happy New Year".)

    2. You must frame the receivers' address with 2 hand illustrated green holly leaves and 3 red berries.

    3. If the best photo of your kids includes a friend rather than the family dog, send it out anyway. Let people wonder when you adopted a 5'8" child names "Toby".

  5. Get a stamp made of your signatures if you want "personal."

    We don't even send Christmas cards. Our mantle has everyone else's kids on it, not ours.

  6. If people want personal info on my life, they can friend me on FB. I don't do personal notes or newsletters!

  7. My husband insists on the personal note and we send out a hundred freakin' cards. Though, there's no newsletter...I feel like the newsletter should be in place of HOURS OF PERSONALIZATION OHMYGOD.

  8. Here are the five simple things I do instead of writing cards, which of course should be handwritten, on homemade paper naturally:

    1. Bake thousands of Holiday cookies.
    2. Place a mixed dozen in special gift boxes that I have embossed with my personal emblem of Aphrodite rising from the ocean.
    3. Drive to each friends house, there are only 50 this year, decked out in my Reindeer-mobile.
    4. Sing a few carols to spread holiday cheer.
    5. Return home to begin planning for next year.

    I have Martha-itis. That bitch ruined my slacker life.

    Merry Christmas!

  9. Oh God - you know what I'm doing over here? Relaxing, that's what. Because we don't do this anymore. Seriously. And it used to be a big rocking deal for me, too. Five kids - clever photo - ask me about the time I put all the kids on their backs in the grass and made them lie so that their heads were all touching in a circle...with pained expressions on their faces...matching clothes (oh god, now I'm tearing up just remembering how fantastic it was). And I did a witty and horribly braggish newsletter and then a collage of MORE pictures that I thought showed us in the best possible light. Until last year - when I just didn't - and the world didn't come to an end and nobody inquired as to where the witty newsletter or adorable pictures were and well, yeah. It was better than dropping twenty pounds. But you have fun over there with the cards and all.

  10. If you're including a letter about the family . . . have at it with the photo card. Otherwise, we all just look at the card you sent a say mean things about how you make the rest of us look bad.

  11. Personalization, too?!
    Hellllll the the no.
    Just get the freaking things in the mail, already.

  12. Yes, you must scribble something. What are you, animals? Illiterate animals?!

  13. Holiday cards are not intended to serve the same function as a 2-hour dinner conversation. I'd say you're already WAY ahead of the game with the newsletter... screw sincerity: stamp 'em, send 'em, and be done with it once and for all.

  14. The only thing I've ever liked was photo cards. If you send me pictures, I don't need you to scrawl some meaningless message. I'll read your newsletter, but I will probably psychoanalyze it. Nope, I like just the photo card.

    However, I may have developed these preferences because I am too lazy to write personal notes or a newsletter. All I write are addresses.

  15. My wife and I used to care about sending cards. Then we realized we don't like people that much, and stopped. Then, the number of holiday cards we normally received tripled a couple years ago, for some reason. We decided it was because people were mad at us for taking them off our Christmas list, and were forcing their holiday tidings upon us with a fiery vengeance.

    So we moved to a new address, telling no one.

  16. laura @ hollywood housewifeDecember 13, 2010 at 3:15 PM

    The comments on this post are cementing my decision to never do Christmas cards again because everybody hates them. Hates sending them, hates receiving them.

    (This week I will send out 100 photo cards with a newsletter and with a personal note & signature. I haven't slept since Thanksgiving.)

  17. I guess I'm old-fashioned. I send 310 professionally designed cards, with professionally shot pictures. They're usually candid shots, just fun pictures that remind me where we are right this second. I hand sign them all and hand stamp, return address and address each one. I include a newsletter (hopefully funny and honest, as well as informative), and I try to get them in the mail before the 10th.

    It does take about a month to get it all done. And I DO dread some of it, some portion of the time. But gosh ... I really love sending and receiving cards, and I adore reading the newsletters. I figure, if people don't want to read mine, they can throw it out! No harm, no foul. This is my favorite time of the year ... and the cards are a big part of it.

  18. What are these holiday card things you speak of?

  19. No signing necessary... it's redundant.

    I work for the post office. I help deliver over 3 billion Christmas Cards every year. Not one of them from me. :)

  20. Heck no you don't need to write anything more personal - unless you want to for somebody that is really close to you.
    I don't even send a newsletter, I enclose one of my blog business cards. If they want to know what's going on with our lives, they can read my blog, dammit.
    I will even be posting pictures of the puppies and the kids (IF they ever send me the pictures they're supposed to), because that's how I roll! HaHa - like I'm that important and anybody cares enough about me anyway.

  21. He or she who writes the cards, makes the rules. If you are just the postman, stamp 'em and send 'em. It's so much easier this way.

    I write the cards in my house. If I feel like writing a personal note, I do. However, in all our years of marriage, I've never written a newsletter. One of these years . . .

  22. Maybe just a chicken scratch signature. That should be personal enough.

    visions unto myself

  23. No personal notes for us. I have to say that I don't really like receiving the newsletter update from people either. Just my thoughts. Merry Christmas.

  24. I think the "personal note" is the only contribution from the schmoe who didn't do all the card compiling work anyway, so was guilted into saying something. It's like getting a compliment from someone with a gun to his head.

    By the way, a knife fight at Zabar's seems like a bad idea. With everyone having access to kitchen utensils, it could escalate quickly.

  25. While in your case, it is perfectly unnecessary, I still prefer the hand-written moment every now and again.

    Like, at work, I hate getting emails from people thanking me for meeting with them. I think a handwritten note, saying the exact same thing, is way more powerful, even if it comes a week later.

    Of course, my Betamax is still flashing 12:00 in our living room.

  26. They'll end up in the garbage on 12/26 anyway...dump the personalization. It's totally bogus...

  27. Don't these people already read this site, so they .know what's up. Go photo and be done with it

  28. I am a bad, bad person. I got photo cards from Costco with "love, the _______s" written on it. The photos went straight into the envelopes which were then sealed, stamped, addressed and sent on their merry way. Personalization, smersionalization. Everyone's just going to throw them away in January anyway. Oh, and Merry Christmas. ;)


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