Saturday, December 4, 2010
Christmas Card Day
Yesterday, was whip up various shades of chocolate in bulk day for use in the studio tomorrow when I return to work on Mice. TODAY IS CHRISTMAS CARD DAY.
I imagine most Jews are having their Hanukkah parties today, but my family scheduled ours for the eighteenth--closer to Christmas, Kwanzaa and my son's birthday, which unfortunately was not on the twenty fifth even though I thought that would be really cool at the time. Not being invited to anybody else's Hanukkah party, it's a good day to do Christmas cards.
I don't buy fancy ones way ahead of time and have our signatures embossed. I buy right off the rack at Hallmark, write a personal note to everyone on my list in Word, copy what I wrote in each card, address the envelopes, then give them all to Honey for return address labels, stamps and mailing. I could write them out with calligraphy, but I like to keep them unpretentious. My cards have to look like I touched each one and thought of each family personally. That's what the season means to me. Peronal touch. --but not so personal as to go to the trouble of painting my own cards like a lot of artists with more cheerier dispositions do.
The closest I ever came to making a totally personal card was when I made a photographic card. I'd always liked those pictures of the family dressed in matching holiday sweaters standing in front of the fireplace all looking loving and like they're having a fun and didn't have to get up extra early to dress before the photographer arrived. I thought I'd give mine a different twist though. I selected a photograph of Honey and me on a beach in Cancun. Sand is so much more Christmassy than snow. It wasn't snowing when Mary gave birth, they were in sand storm country. In the cresch, the wise men wee wearing sandals, not boots. But I never sent the card out. I had second thoughts. It wasn't friendly enough. Folks, not realizing that sand was more appropriate for the season than snow, might have thought I was going "HA, Ha, Ha. Look where I am this holiday." Not a good image to set forth when sending good cheer.
The best photographic holiday card I got was from my December birthday boy and his gorgeous family, (said the extremely prejudiced Nana). That was a few years ago, 2002. I held on to it. They looked like they were having such fun I wanted to jump on top.
I keep all the holiday and special occasion cards I get. I have two large boxes full. Every now and then I like to read the notes on them--funny, loving, whatever. My mom in-law saved hers too. When she passed away, I found every one of the cards her kids had ever sent hidden under napkins in a server drawer in the dining room. They were neatly bundled and tied with ribbon. I read every one of them. I was extremely relieved. I had actually written some very lovely things to the matriarch who wasn't that fond of me for the first fifteen years of my marriage to her adored son. And I was extremely touched too. The saving of them and the way they were saved showed how much she really did love us all. I want my kids to know that too when they're going through my stuff. And hopefully by then, I'll have bought some ribbon and gotten rid of the tattered shoe box.