Open mouth (write Christmas card), insert foot.

29 Jan

Look - there's a book about me!

I’m a bit old fashioned when it comes to letters – I like to write them, I like to receive them, and I tend to believe email is a poor substitute for any sentiment that isn’t really urgent.

So it’s probably no surprise that I take Christmas cards fairly seriously, carving out hours before the holiday to write them. (And yes, I actually write in my Christmas cards, following the example my mom set when we were growing up. It seems to be a disappearing practice.)

Except this year I made a mistake. I sent a card to one of my cousins and FORGOT to include one of her children in the greeting. I addressed the salutation to her, her husband and their son. No mention of the daughter. OOPS.

(In my defense, a lot of the communication this year has been centered on their son, who has been sick.)

Anyway, I didn’t realize my omission until I received HER holiday card, which included updates on both kids. I smacked my forehead and felt shame. “Well, maybe she didn’t notice,” I told myself.

Then I went even farther, letting myself off the hook with this rationale: “I have 19 cousins. Can I really be expected to remember all their children? I’m sure she understands.”

Even so, I felt a wave of relief last night when – one month after Christmas – I found a card in my mailbox from one of my aunts. Like me, she always makes a point of writing something person in her cards. This time, it was an explanation for the delay: she didn’t have my new address until she received my holiday card.

There was also a “year in review” folded photocopy included in the letter, which struck me as odd because I’ve never known her to send one, and she’s not the type of person to hit a Kinko’s to make copies. Even so, I kicked back in my recliner and opened it, curious to see what her year had held.

And I found myself reading about some stranger named Betty, her partner Craig, and their adventures in 2010.

I’m not sure which is worse: omitting someone from your greeting or sending another person’s holiday update letter to a relative.

Contrary to my previous belief, perhaps holiday cards are just not our forte in this family. At least I can take comfort knowing I come by it honestly.

2 Responses to “Open mouth (write Christmas card), insert foot.”

  1. Steven January 31, 2011 at 5:11 pm #

    If it makes you feel any better, on my last birthday, I eagerly opened the birthday card from my father… only to realize he didn’t even bother to sign it… LOL 🙂

    • pithypants January 31, 2011 at 6:25 pm #

      At least it wasn’t made out to a half-brother you never knew you had. #could’vebeenworse 🙂

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