Friday, December 12, 2008

Dashing to the Mail

It's that time of year when many of us momentarily ditch our digital lives of email, texting, cellphones, online bill paying, and yes, facebooking, and we use that oldest of old forms of communication - the US Mail. Yes, it's Christmas letter time! The only time of year that I actually beat my children to the mailbox. I love this annual celebration of exchanging photocards and yearly wrap-ups with a little bragging thrown in gratis. And I noticed that most Christmas cards fall into one of three categories. So here they are:

The Shameless Boaster
"Little Johnny is an all-star baseball player destined for the MLB. He got all A's in his superior-brains-only classes, got the lead in the school play" and on and on it goes. Every child is a prodigy, the husband is a super successful corporate ladder climber, and the wife does triathalons and has her own scrapbooking or jewelry company. The family picture is a stunning portrait in matching outfits at an exotic location. Your smile, when you receive these letters, has a tooth grinding quality to it.

The Tom Clancy Letter
These Christmas letters usually come in multiple pages, small print. "We went to the park, Aunt Jody came to visit, we made sloppy joes for dinner and little Suzie lost a tooth. The next week...." You learn things you never knew you didn't want to know. These letters are accompanied by not one, but multiple pictures in various locations. It's like being forced to sit down on their couch and look through their family photo album while they prattle endlessly about themselves. If only there were a Cliff Notes version.

The Identity-Theft Paranoid
These are the kinds of Christmas letters that come from people in the witness protection program. They consist of a generic card that may or may not be signed with no personal word of greeting or acknowledgment. You have to look at the return address to see who it's from. There's no picture, no letter, nothing you could track them down with. All the same, they went through the trouble of putting a stamp on the envelope, so you feel a morsal of their love and holiday warmth.

But, no matter the category, I love getting Christmas cards and I devote an entire wall in my house to display them every year. As Christmas draws near the wall fills up and I try to leave them up for at least a week after I get the last one. Although if I waited for my sister, Becky, they'd be up until March. So run to your mailboxes, because my shameless bragging, Tom Clancy letter with our picture in matching outfits at the beach is on the way!


Happy The Man said...

This is the perfect post, everything said, the way it was said, perfect. Bravo, I'm in awe...

Admittedly, I fall in the Tom Clancy category too.

Ambie said...

I fall into the briefly mentioned "Becky" category

Jillee Brown said...

merry christmas!

as my 2008 year wraps up ill fill you in of the small details you may not know. Im recently engaged. will be getting married here soon. I just bought my own house. love it! Am currently managing a medical office here in anchorage. Looking for a new vehical, considering a bmw or lexus suv for my future family. hope your year was as good as mine. xoxo -jillee

haha. i wish.

ray said...

Jillee, you're a crack up! You forgot to add that your fiance bought you a 12 karat rock and he is a regular on the show "Lost" - not the fat guy.

Ambie said...

and that you won the Boston marathon and got a boob job... oh wait that last part really did happen.

Jillee Brown said...

oh yeah. shoot! i sure did forget some good stuff. haha.. how about.....

Im at an amazing 120 lbs. How much do you weigh now?"

Cheryl said...

Great post. Sorry it took me so long to read it, I'm busy trying to condense our 12 page Christmas letter into a reasonable 8. Fortunately, I fit in the "Becky" category with Ambriah so you will all be bored with the holidays and excited to read it when it finally arrives!

Hope you all had a wonderful Christmas!