I’m taking a little break in my continuing series of reviews on my collection of Nintendo games, but fear not, I still have some doozies to share. That’s right. I just said “Doozy”.
I didn’t send out Christmas cards last year. It was kinda a big deal because the year before, I had found these absolutely stupid cards that (in obvious attempts to not show any sort of holiday, save the season of winter, which isn’t much of a holiday if you ask me) featured a dog in a doghouse, outside, in a snowy scene, while people were inside enjoying some egg nog or whatever you crazy kids drink these days. There was actually no writing on the inside (at least none that was important enough for me to remember), and so I wrote something about wishing people that their holidays were filled with many dogs freezing in the cold, a mean-spirited Christmas wish that was poking fun at the actual card more than actually wishing that people would let their dog freeze. A good laugh was had by many, except for the heartless.
I’m not sure what the reason was last year for me to be so lax in my Christmas-type things, but in any case, I didn’t send out cards. This year, six months after graduation, it’s the first holiday in four years that I haven’t been with my college friends at some time remotely near Christmas/Hanukkah, so I figured that it would be as good a time as any to send cards with some catching up, sort of brief, remotely witty notes from myself. I believe that I started this like two weeks ago (the 8th), thinking that I would be able to find addresses for people that I haven’t talked to since graduation in that amount of time. The bad part about this is that it’s like one of those high school/college essays/projects that you get at the beginning of the year and you know you need to work on it. You spend each week thinking about a goal (“I’ll have this much written by Friday”), but then other work, and all the toils and troubles of daily life prevent you from getting to it. The work just sits there, because you know you only have a few minutes of free time and really need at least an hour free for it to even be worth working on. Then finally the due date comes, but instead of the project being worth 50% of your grade, you realize that it’s just for bonus points and you really don’t need to do it. You may want to because you’re only getting a n 8% in the class, but you just can’t bring yourself to do it.
That was a long metaphor for where I’m at right now. The only things that are really still keeping me interested in sending these cards are that I spent the money on them, I spent the time to write them out, and they’re nice little things for people that I haven’t talked to in a while to receive, which is the reason why I bought them in the first place. That, and keeping in touch with them increases my chances of one day being actually employed in the real world…. but mostly just to be that guy who tries to keep in touch with people.
Getting more to the point at hand; Chirstmas cards are the one thing that allow us to decide the difference between friends&acquaintances, and just people we know. (I put the word “acquantance” as a separate category of people, higher than “people we know”) It’s almost a less important version of trying to figure out who to invite to your wedding. The difference in that case is that the acquaintances don’t get invited. When it comes to Christmas cards, everyone is fair game for sending. Remember that distant aunt who used to pinch your cheeks and you’d sometimes go to visit at her house about ten years ago when she fed you pimento loaf, because she loved it, while you just rolled it up and gave it to the dog? If you don’t send her a card, she’ll probably think you’ve forgotten who she is, and she’ll be so devastated that she’ll probably leave you out of her will, and there goes that original press version of “A Tale of Two Cities” that you always wanted. You really need to come up with a list of people that you know, no matter where from, and decide whether these people are worth knowing anymore or not, because face it, when they don’t get a Christmas card from you, consider yourself ignored when you see them at the mall.
Of course if you are a member of the Christmas card-sending group of people (many of you aren’t, for shame), it’s actually a more akward thing sometimes to receive them. Say your aunt’s neighbor, Sheila, used to babysit you when you were visiting the aunt, and the aunt went out to play parchese. Say Sheila, after many times of having read you “Goodnight Moon”, but not having spoken to her in ten years, decides to send you a Christmas card. Is it now a prerequisite that you, in turn, add her to your list? If so, do you hustle to get her one before the holiday season is over, or just say “aww to hell with it”, and add her to the bottom of next year’s cards (no doubt the ugly leftovers from Christmas Card packs past)?
I guess for me it boils down to the point that I would like to send these cards out, even though the only thing I’ll be getting in return is some vague idea that people somewhere are getting my well-wishes for the season. My problem is that it’s so low on my priority list (plus getting addresses for 30 people takes a lot of legwork) that these cards will more than likely turn into Martin Luther King Jr. Day Cards (although I would hope not, because the cards really don’t have much to do with Civil Rights… in fact half of them are about yet another dog freezing in the snow). I would hope that people would understand, and be happy because they’re at least getting cards, which, if you’re my age, is something that happens quite rarely. Or perhaps better rephrased “…which, if you’re ME, is something that happens quite rarely”.
I’m torn on the subject of Christmas cards, because while they create an enormous hassle and a (sometimes deadly) higherarchy of friends/acquaintances, they’re also a nice reminder that some people out there (many of whom we haven’t talked to in 5 years) still remember us enough to send us a nice note in the mail. It also feels good to know that people do get them and appreciate them, but bad to know that other people are sending them, and you’re not getting any…. cards, that is… yeah I realized how that sounded and fixed it. I guess I should really go and try to send those out now, but I’ve gotta go get some other stuff done.