The Christmas card fiasco


It’s Black Friday, and like most Black Friday’s I am staying well away from any store. I don’t mind a few people or even a slightly elevated traffic count, but I don’t like mobs of frenzied shoppers. Years ago this day was also my day to sent out a pile of Christmas cards. Then I got smart and quit doing it because I would much rather call and say Merry Christmas than pay for a card, pay for postage and then have the card thrown in the trash a month later to fill up a landfill. I am sure that the postal service is going under due to my lack of Christmas card sending. On the other had they are probably making a huge profit from one of my sisters-in-law.

My sister-in-law is one of those people that sends out cards for every occasion. We get Easter cards, Halloween cards, Thanksgiving Day cards, 4th of July cards along with the regular birthday and Christmas cards. One year she even sent a Chinese New Years card. At Christmas she often sends those christmas photo cards with a photo of them with their dogs. Inside everyone of those cards she would sign them with both her and her husbands names along with ALL of their pets’ names. For the first few years that she did it I thought it was funny, then it continued to the point where she added short sentences like, “a big lick from Jake too,” Jake was one of their dogs. It got to the point that I wondered if she wanted me to send her a card signed with not only the human family names but all of the animals we had. I also thought of it as a slight insult, saying that she thought of her pets more like family than we did. She had 2 dogs and 2 birds, where as we had 6 horses, 4 dogs, numerous cats, a small flock of chickens, 2 birds and a rabbit. If I put all the names of our animals on a card it would fill up an entire page.

About 3 years ago I had a chance to talk to my brother-in-law, her husband, about that quirky little habit. Apparently he was not fond of the idea of her putting the names of their pets in a card. He had tried once to get her to quit the habit but that discussion failed. I told him that maybe I should send a Christmas card and sign it with all of the names of the animals we had and maybe she would stop. He told me to do it, so I did. After that one card, we never did get another card form her with the names of their pets signed in it. I don’t know if it was the card or if her husband used the card to tell her that everyone thinks of their pets as family members but they don’t need to sign their names to cards.

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