What a Nice Guy by Phil Torcivia

Monday, December 5, 2011

Why you shouldn't send Christmas cards.


Jeez, what a waste of paper and postage! Do me a favor, friends and relatives: Instead, please PayPal me the cost of the card and postage. I figure $2.99 plus the $0.44 postage stamp should cover it. You find that Grinch-y? Tough sugar cookies. I don’t have kids, I don’t have a dead tree fire hazard, and my cats will destroy my house if I try to put Santa caps on them. So, you’ll not be receiving a card from me. I’ll look at your card, say, “That’s nice,” and toss it into the junk mail bin. In essence, you’ve paid $3.43 plus your time to contribute to California’s recycling program. Your card will probably come back as a coffee cup insulator, which would be a preferable alternative to the card itself. Skip me and tape the card to your next latte.

When I was married, my wife would slap these annoying cards on the refrigerator, doorframes, and staircases. She appreciates the cards because she is a nice person. I, however, am an asshole. I hated them. We didn’t have kids and were in the middle of pills and shots and whacking off into a cup at the hospital and suppositories and hurry-home-my-temperature-is-right quickies, and all of them at quite a substantial sum. I didn’t need to be reminded how easy it was for some people to plant baby seeds. Damn braggarts. I so wanted to send our holiday card as a picture of my genetic soup puddled inside a sterile cup.

See? Told you I’m a green Grinch-y asshole.

Look here. I just received the 2011 holiday postcard from the Whateverberg family. We have Daddy in a silly red sweater who is out of breath from sprinting back-and-forth to the camera timer, Mommy with dark circles under her eyes and tinsel in her hair, two self-entitled rugrats who have fallen for a cruel myth used to make them behave, and the family dog that was licking his red rocket during the three previous takes. How sweet. Buh-bye, obnoxious card. To the junk pile with you. I hope you enjoy your equally useless and wasteful company, which is advertising vinyl siding, curb painting, and closet organizers.

I watch people as they stand in front of the greeting card display case. They scan, lift, open, read, return, and move on until they finally find that perfect card and spend the next five minutes hunting for the missing envelope. Oh, how I want to confront this person.

“You do realize the person you send that to probably wont read it.”
“Huh?”
“All I do when I receive a card is look inside for cash or checks, then flip it over to see how much the sender wasted on sending me somebody else’s quote.”
“But …”
“No but. Where’s the thought and creative energy in that? At least if you send me a family photo, it’s original—boring as watching mold grow, but original.”
“Do I know you?”
“Consider me one of the ninety-nine percenters who is here to encourage you to stimulate the economy in more logical ways. Why don’t you bake me some cookies? I like chocolate and peanut butter; any combination of the two will do just fine. Oh, and don’t put a card in the tin. Simply write your name with a Sharpie on the outside. I won’t need your return address. You’ll get squat from me in return unless I run into you when I’m with a relatively full bottle, in which case I’ll pour you a holiday sip of my grapeness.”
“Um … security …”

It saddens me to watch the deluded masses who can’t escape the Hallmark ploy.

15 comments:

  1. What I can't stand are the "Holiday Newsletters" that come in the cards that give the sender bragging rights about how well their son/daughter is doing in Harvard and how they are a member of the cum loudly fraternity and how they're going to Monte Carlo on their Christmas holiday but really hate to leave the house and their 25ft Christmas tree they had professionally decorated.

    Can I throw up now?

    Honestly, I don't care. I really don't care. I don't send cards, but my husband seems to feel he has to. So I let him send them to his immediate family. And you're right. It is a waste of money. You buy the cards, take the time to sign and address them, put the stinkin' postage on them, drive to the mailbox (cost of gas and time) however far THAT is only to have the receiver either display them for about 3 weeks or have it thrown into a basket THEN thrown away!

    I did get a bunch of free stuff from Hallmark when I went in to get a birthday card and saw some Yankee Candles. That was worth it.

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  2. Ouch! If I'd had such rough experiences with Christmas, I'd feel the same way about the cards. Since you don't send them, do you do something else with the money you save? (treats for the cats, donations to the poor, taking yourself out for a good meal etc.) That might help you feel better.

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  3. I've just discovered my new excuse for not sending cards. Thanks for the chuckle.

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  4. This is so terribly sad! I am the sad person who makes her own cards knowing that the recipients will appreciate it. I have also kept many cards form friends and family for many years in a special box. I appreciate the value of the thought and that someone remembered me. Merry Christmas!

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  5. I think Christmas cards are a generational thing. My generation doesn't seem to send them. At least, I don't generally send them, and I probably receive less than 5 from my friends. I pick up a few from family on Christmas Day, but they're not my generation are they?

    I probably get more from my clients, and I kind of appreciate the ones I get from my clients, because's it's a nice person who is thinking about their lawyer at Christmas. If they ARE thinking about me at Christmas I must have done something really good for them this year.

    Of course, all alcoholic donations attached to cards are also welcome.

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  6. I rarely send anything in the mail. I'm lazy. However, each year I force myself to take a somewhat casual (no red sweaters, no Santa hats, and if the dog is in the picture and decides to lick himself, so much the better)family photo to place on a card and send to family.

    Granted, I only send them to the family who bitches at me because I'm selfish, unthoughtful, and tired of hearing 'where's that family picture we've been bugging you about for the last eleven and a half months'?

    I send a total of five. That's it. I don't like sending cards. I hate receiving cards, because I don't save things that turn into clutter. Heck, I hate clutter in general which is why everything is sent directly to my email. I usually forget I even have a mailbox.

    Alcoholic donations would be appreciated much, much, more.

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  7. ((((((( Phil))))))

    To me a card means someone thought about me and that I am important enough to them to remember.
    I am not a "card" person per se but I do make my own cards when time permits.
    Life is really really short, if you don't want to send Christmas cards then don't, thats fine.
    I can think of ways you could recycle them though if you should be "blessed" enough to be remembered.
    Merry CHRISTmas!!!

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  8. OMG I feel exactly the same. either we're right or we're both just massive grincy dickheads - there's always that awkward moment when someone gives you a card and money doesn't fall out! LOL x

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  9. A Christmas card of a dog attending to its genitals would cheer me up and be generally in keeping with my own festive ding dong tinsel joy. Thanks for such a potent image of family fun.

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  10. i agree with u. i send email of my all friends in every Christmas. go to other place to enjoy Christmas day.


    Xmas Cards

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  11. Frankly I think the holiday letter with the picture of a family is insulting. What possibly makes you think that I want a picture of your family? Chances are almost certain we are FB friends and so I'm bombarded by pictures of you or likely your chow starring doggedly dumb at the camera. And I really love the freak parades who think I want pictures of their pets in holiday attire under a Christmas tree.

    You can go ahead and shoot me now.

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  12. I've got the sprouted baby seeds, and they're gorgeous and a pretty house and tree and all that crap. I'm a stay-at-home-mom so I guess I'm SUPPOSED to do the cards... but guess what? I don't give a fuck. Seriously. That's my excuse. If you wanna know what my kids are up to, call me. No, text me, I might actually answer. Or just read my blog.

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  13. There is humor in the post and hard to know if it is written for pure enjoyment or as a testament to how you truly feel.

    As someone who has been down that infertility road for 11 years, I can definitely understand that part.

    I can also understand not enjoying a card when nothing falls out :-)

    I do, however, save every single card I receive. I also really enjoy sending them. I probably enjoy sending them more than I do receive them. Different years I have hand made cards, some years I buy them, and this year, for the first time in 14 years, I won't be sending any. For me it is sadly about money this year. I don't have the funds to pay the postage. I also don't have the time to work on the cards since my husband is getting worse with his life threatening health issues.

    There are great organizations you can donate your unwanted cards too. They do great projects with them for the elderly who do really appreciate getting a card :-)

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