What does your Christmas card say about you?

What does the Christmas card say about the sender? There are funny cards, religious cards, photo cards, cards that have recipes, big and flashy cards, small and simple cards, etc. Some even have those letters in them now – sort of a recap of what has happened in their lives since last year: Susie had a healthy baby boy while achieving her master’s, Harold got a promotion, and Johnny was graduated from Princeton – summa cum laude. Oh, laudy!

My friend Susan sends a very tasteful card. It’s always classic and simple in design, understated – like her. Gloria and John send a fancy card that sports gold on the inside of the envelope, and it never says Merry Christmas – always Season’s Greetings. Their names are printed at the bottom of the sentiment. They don’t even have to sign it. Dee Dee sends a card with an animal theme. Occasionally it has a photo of her horse and her dog, Partner, with a red bandanna around his neck. Trish sends a small card. She likes small cards for some reason. My cousin, the former beauty queen, sends one of those photo cards that most people put their kids on, but her’s has a photo of her and her husband and sometimes they’re in costume. One year they were clowns. My aunt (her mother) was mortified. I put it on my fridge.

My all time favorite card comes from Herman’s cousin. Brandon still remembers her famous cards. Eleanor Lee is repressed. She’s as repressed as anyone I’ve ever met, and she’s morbid. Oh, my God, she’s preoccupied with morbidity. I can not overstate this. She thinks of nothing but illness and death and dying and suffering. I know she can not help it. I know. But…

Eleanor Lee’s card reads like a laundry list of ailments and illnesses and deaths of everyone she knows. She relishes regaling her Christmas card recipients with a litany of natural and man-made disasters, mishaps, sicknesses, deaths, near deaths and possible future deaths.

My favorite card was the year a cousin fell off the roof, a friend had a toe amputated, the road got washed out, and her son had an “oozing sore that wouldn’t heal.” Now that’s a creative Christmas card. I know I’m prone to exaggeration to enhance a story, but this is the unadulterated truth. I promise. In fact I downplayed it. It was really a leg that was amputated – not a toe. There. I said it. Opening a card from Eleanor Lee is like unleashing a viral capsule with the potential to eradicate 98 percent of the population. It could happen, you know.

Poor Eleanor Lee is one of those people who is only happy when the dark angles are fluttering about. The only time I ever heard her laugh was when Brandon (at that age boys relish the disgusting) told her that it’s a little known fact that the last few sips of a drink are backwash. This tickled her funny bone? Who’d of thought the idea of someone drinking their own spit would be a source of humor for anyone other than an eleven-year-old boy? Cracked Eleanor Lee up!

I do enjoy receiving Christmas cards and sending them. I receive cards from people I haven’t seen in over 40 years, but we had a connection at some point in our lives that still requires acknowledgment. I like sending a good wish and receiving a little update in the lives of those I know and those I’ve known. It’s nice.

I don’t know what our cards say about us, but I buy my cards after Christmas or a day or two before. They’re at least 50 percent off. Sometimes 75 percent off. I’ve never sent a religious card. I’m partial to pretty wreaths and beautiful Santas. There’s a snowman on mine this year. He’s cute.

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