Friday, December 21, 2012

Wednesday, December 12, 2012


Christmas or holiday cards (PC)  are a nice way to get in touch with people you haven’t seen in a while and probably won’t see for a while. Many of us have observed children of friends grow up through the years by way of Christmas card picture frames. One family we know had a professional photographer photograph their family every year, the card is so beautifully produced, they’re keepsakes.

When we send cards, we like to include a brief handwritten note. Of course, it’s easier when you’re not sending dozens of cards but it always adds a personal touch. It's much better than leaving it up to Hallmark. We all know someone who adds his or own "Dear,” on the card as if they actually wrote the greeting card’s red, green or black text.

Holiday letters, when a sender takes the time to bring you up to date on what’s gone on in their life during the past year, are also thoughtful. Of course, Bah-Humbuggers think they're presumptuous because it's too much information. We’re not sure when it became bad form to bring friends up to date with what’s going on in our lives, however, better to keep updates upbeat.

For people with green leanings, the holiday card paper waste can seem criminal. A friend of ours thought nothing of throwing an exquisite, engraved Cartier Christmas card he’d received. He spent seconds reading it and threw it away without even considering displaying it on his mantelpiece. Yvette saves special cards and ties them together with ribbon. I have a few favorites and after the holiday I put them aside. The actress, Sylvia Miles sends a fun card she makes. She glues white cotton on it to represent her white mane of hair. I have years of them stuffed in an envelope.

There’s one dubious practice that we don’t support: the sender who sends only because they have received one from you. We think people who do this find it an easier way to send cards without making a card list or who have missed the point about the gift of giving - it's not about receiving.

In the spirit of the holidays we should take into account that there may be any number of reasons why someone hasn’t sent cards. If receiving a card means that much to you and you haven’t heard from a good friend, pick up the phone before you put down the pen. During these difficult times, we don’t need the house of Christmas cards to collapse too.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Re-gifting: Beware, It Can Go South by Yvonne

A very good friend of mine visited me last Christmas holiday. She'd just come from another mutual friend's home and he'd given her a gift.
Photo by allerleirau

"What's that in the bag?" I asked, knowing it wasn't for me. We'd already exchanged gifts.
 "It's a gift from HIM." (From here on he shall be referred to as The Re-Gift Guy.)

She whipped two books out of the bag, one was about Dorothy Parker and looked very familiar. I literally snatched it out of her hands to study it up close, page after page.

"He gave that to me last Christmas. I left it at his house by mistake!"
"You're kidding."
"No, I'm serious. In fact, last year both of these gifts were mine. I can't believe him."

The Re-Gift Guy had made the ultimate error in giving, he kept giving but the same thing to a different person. He was well-intentioned and maybe a bit forgetful.  But, for once my memory, a little foggy at times, didn't fail me. I'm a fierce Dorothy Parker fan.

So, to all the Re-Gift Guys and Girls out there, beware! Keep a list of those spare gifts you find around the house. Maybe there was a reason it was in a bag along with some used ribbon.

And remember that social networking will betray you in a click with people boasting and posting what they got for Christmas and Hanukkah.  Re-gifting isn't the worst thing you can do but it sure could end up being the most embarrassing.  Shhh, not a word to The Re-Gift Guy.