05 January 2005

Keep those Christmas cards and letters coming

I am a total sucker for Christmas cards and holiday letters and all that nonsense. And because everyone I know is waaay too busy, I'm still getting them, even in January. In today's mail I got one of my annual favorites - Mary Ann and Jim's Christmas Letter.

Mary Ann and I met about five years ago doing a show and as it is easier to get on my Christmas list than off of it, she's been getting cards from me ever since. (Anyone wishing to be removed from my Christmas card list, please apply to the author for the simple, one sentence exit request. Oddly enough, it's not "please don't send me any more of these.") Anyway, I've been sending cards to Mary Ann, so I've been added to her family's holiday card and annual letter list. The annual letter is written by Jim, her husband, and it usually greatly amuses me. I've never actually met Jim, but I enjoy his writing style. This year he included the usual ration of family news and just for added fun, quite a few really lame jokes. Really lame. Like the kind of lame jokes that my Dad likes. (If there is enough of a clamour from the Dedicated Readership, some of Jim's Truly Lame Jokes will be posted.)

Mary Ann and I have the same last name, so when we do shows together, people ask if we are related, which I find very flattering. We usually just say yes, we're sisters, and let folks figure it out as we go along. But after reading the latest of Jim's holiday efforts, I think it's not that Mary Ann and I are related, it's that Dad and Jim are.

I also got a holiday letter from my wonderful friend Leslie. Leslie and her partner Naomi live in California, so I only see them every few years, which isn't nearly often enough. But their holiday letter includes pictures of their Catch-Your-Breath-Beautiful daughter, Kaili. Kai is about 4 now and althought they are not related at all - except that all their parents are loved by me - Kai startlingly resembles my friend Samantha, who is 7. I tell Leslie that pictures of Sam are great predictors for Kai. Kai looks more Asian than Sam, but not by much. They could be sisters and I hope they get to meet some day.

One of my co-workers hoping to snare this commie pinko liberal asked me if I send Christmas cards or holiday cards. And do I say "Merry Christmas" or "Happy Holidays." I told him that I send Christmas cards to my friends who celebrate Christmas and holiday cards to my friends who celebrate other things. I say "Happy Holidays" to many folks and "Merry Christmas" to those folks, like my friend Russell, who hate hearing "Happy Holidays" and grouse about it. If the idea is to spread a little joy, why not give people the card/greeting they'll enjoy. My co-worker had to agree that that made sense. He was thwarted in his goal to prove that my fellow travelers and I had needlessly politicized the holidays, which only served to brighten my day.

The cards are still on the piano, the dining room table, and around the kitchen because I'm not ready to take them down yet - especially with new ones coming in. I send out about 85 cards each year (hello, my name is Leta and I am an idiot about mailing things.....) and I get about 30 or so, which, considering how many of my friends don't do holiday cards, is a pretty darn good ratio. I think I really do need to trim the list a bit, so maybe next year I'll only send 50. We'll see.

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