THE SONIC BOOMER
Don’t laugh, but I’ve started addressing my holiday cards. I’m running late, actually, as my sister Pam addresses hers in between handing out candy to trick-or-treaters. We do it early because it’s a big job. It’s a big job for her because she has lots of friends. It’s a big job for me because I am detail-oriented bordering on obsessive-compulsive.
Selecting the cards is no problem. My daughter works at Hallmark, after all. It’s everything that happens after that. It’s a six-hour job.
I begin by going to the file called Rolodex on my laptop. I spent two entire days transferring all the little cards from my desktop Rolodex to my computer and regret it every minute. (Pam: What’s cousin Ron’s phone number? Me: Wait a minute while I boot up.) I could spend another day putting them in label format, but labels seem so impersonal for holiday cards. So I boot up.
A… Addams. Tom Addams and his wife, Estelle, have six children, so I am fairly safe sending them a happy, bouncy, cartoony card that screams “Merry Christmas!” in bright neon colors. I carefully address the envelope with their latest address and my return address. Yes, I could use a return address label but, again, labels. And, fingers crossed, this card gets to them before the one they are sending me that probably has their brand-new address on it.
B… Bonvenito. Sherry Bonvenito lost her husband this year, so it is a somber gray card with mid-century modern white deer on it for her. I include a note because I cannot imagine the sorrow of a first Christmas without your hubby. I am temporarily sad.
C… Now there is a decision to be made. Steve Carnes married a Jewish girl so they get neither a Christmas card nor a Hanukkah card but a wimpy Happy Holidays card that, to my mind, celebrates neither heritage adequately. Heads up, Hallmark!
And so it goes, on through the alphabet. Things are chugging along nicely until I discover that, once I’ve added in my annual newsletter, some of the envelopes are an inch too small. I trim the margins from my bragging but, still, no good. This was poor planning on my part, and I beat myself up for it while looking for bigger envelopes while agonizing over whether people will think they were an after-thought, getting a little card in a big envelope like that.
Fortunately, there’s not much time to agonize, as I have to choose cute little holiday stickers for the backs of the envelopes. There are the gold crowns that came with the cards, of course, but I have hundreds of others because I am an impulse buyer when it comes to sheets of stickers. I tell myself they’re for the grandchildren, but the grandchildren never get them until I’ve pulled off all the “good” ones for my cards. Also, I have to remember which card is in which envelope so I don’t send Santa Claus off to the wrong people.
This year I bought Sesame Street stamps. Another bad decision! Who gets Elmo? Who gets Cookie Monster? Do I have a flag stamp somewhere for the woman in mourning?
Worst of all, I’m a realist. I know my recipients will tear open the envelope, throw it in the trash with nary a glance at the sticker or stamp, toss the card in a pile and maybe, maybe read my newsletter while they’re in the bathroom.
But the deed is done, they have been wished a happy holiday — and fervently.