Pinterested?

Friday, December 12, 2014

Fa-la-la-Land

Dear Friends: 

This is the Christmas card you never got. Then again, you may have got it, or may yet get it … I can’t be sure. Some of you will receive at least two of the same card. Others will get nothing - not even a lump of coal. I’ve been makin’ a list, checkin’ it twice, but don’t give a rat’s ass who’s naughty and nice. What I really want to do is curl into a fetal position and thuck my thumb.

This year, I told Ron, we’re going to play it smart! This year, there’s no way we’re spending hundreds of dollars on cards and stamps, or devoting precious hours to signing and addressing cards (a job that seems simple, but isn’t, when your computer doesn’t understand the words “mailing label”). 

This year, we’re not slaving over our usual uplifting holiday message: “Ron’s receding gums are bleeding less and orthotics have helped my plantar fascism plantar fascititis foot problem.”

To be honest, despite the guilt trip our costly holiday words laid on their recipients, mailing some 250 cards (25 of them to friends; the rest, to bill collectors) has never been the social entré we hoped it would be:

• “Oh, Charlie! Another beautiful card from that Parton woman and that hopeless Ron Fisher! You know, we really should send them a card. (S-i-g-h!) Yes, Charlie, you’re probably right. I remember the year Nicole tripped into the china cabinet, smashing all that crystal. And the year Ron wouldn’t stop talking about his receding gums at our cocktail party. If we run into them, we can always say we lost their address.” Or, at another household …

• “Who are those idiots who send us a card every year? Haven’t they figured out we’re the wrong Wilsons?” Or, at yet another home … 

• “Harold Shmuckley’s still getting cards from the Parton-Fishers! Don’t those morons know he’s in the Witness Protection Program? Even his mother has no idea where he is. Which is a good thing, considering it was his testimony that sent her up the river.” 

Well, no more paper cards from us! But what we planned to send in their stead hasn’t exactly worked out. This year, we were going to email you that: “In keeping with the spirit of a green Christmas, we’ve gone digital! We hope you enjoy our electronic holiday card!”

I hunted-and-pecked 250 names and email addresses into a swishy electronic card program. The card I chose had gen-u-wine animated falling snow and seasonal music to accompany the fine phrases I stole from my friend Saleena, who sent us the best holiday card ever

I told Ron: “Once I program these cards, I’ll be one click away from finishing with these suckers!” I meant the cards - not you, dear friends. 

Then I remembered that some of you celebrate Hanukkah. Somehow, it wasn’t as easy as I thought it would be to switch those cards from those that played O Tannenbaum to cards featuring the Dreidel-Dreidel-Dreidel song. I had to start from scratch, reposting Saleena’s best-ever message for our Jewish friends.

Then I also remembered that some of you are atheists and agnostics, so I found some electronic cards with digitized Santas hula-hooping “Ho-ho-ho!”

Then I noticed I’d made some spelling and other mistakes, like forgetting that He Who Shall Not Be Named ran away with She Who Shall Not Be Named while each was married to someone else. But that was last February and this is December and the scarlet letter and the gossip have finally faded, so it’s probably socially acceptable to send them a card. Besides, all they want for Christmas is a divorce from their former partners, nudge-nudge, wink-wink. 

Which brought up another card conundrum. Spouses and partners ought to get joint cards rather than individual ones, I thought. I retyped my list. But then I also thought: “What if their partner doesn’t show them our card?” So I changed things back. 

Then I also noticed that while some of my changes had gone through, many people were getting two electronic cards - one single, one spousal. Our Jewish friends were getting a card that played O Tannenbaum, and our Christian friends were about to be treated to the Dreidel-Dreidel-Dreidel song. Two of our friends are having December birthdays. With horror, I realized that their cards read “Happy Hanukkah!” Non-believers were getting a bit of everything - drifting snow (I-used-to-be-snow-white-but-I-drifted-ha-ha), spinning dreidels, and hula-hooping Santas playing the slots in Vegas. 

Worse yet, this is our fish Frankie’s first Christmas, so I sent Ron an electronic card featuring half-a-dozen little fish in Santa hats. Signing the card “I wuv woo - Fwankie,” I didn’t realize I’d clicked on the wrong “Ron.” In milliseconds, the card zipped off to an old boyfriend. Naming me as the cards actual sender, the card company’s tracking program showed the other Ron opening the card immediately. The note he sent seconds later said he was between liaisons and happy to hear I still had “feelings” for him.  

With every correction I made, the card company’s computer program tossed every name on my list into the air, rearranging it with no alphabetization and no relationship to the pattern of names I’d seen only moments ago. Trying to fix this mess took me three days. Three! Long! Days! I’ve given birth faster than that.

Our electronic cards are programmed to go out Dec. 20th. Yes, I know the Hanukkah date is wrong, but trying to fix it defeated me. If you don’t get our card, Saleena’s perfect message reads: Wishing you a beautiful holiday season filled with love, joy, peace, health, and happiness! May you have an amazing 2015! Which about sums it up. 

Ho-ho-ho and Xs and Os from Nicole and Ron

13 comments:

  1. Dear Nicole: Every year my 93-year-old mother in the UK informs me that she will not send any more Christmas cards, but always forgets and makes the same mistake each year....When I spoke with her last she said 'Oh Cherie I am sick!' and I said whats wrong? All my friends are always changing their addresses and when I write my cards it makes me ill! and the cost of stamps goes up each year!! When I tell her I send electronic cards, she replies “Will you buy me an internet!?” - Cherie Pridmore, Mexico

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Don't go nuts in the spending department. At 93, your mother will be probably appreciate a hair net and metal curlers. I've written this blog for years with little more than that, though I generally use mime when I write Paris.

      Delete
  2. Dear Nicole: Why don’t you write about Kim Kardashian’s bum? It's half the size of Texas. Do you think she has implants? I’m wondering if I should get implants, too. Can you research this? - Lyn W., Pittsburgh, PA

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I have now researched this. Kim Kardashian's derrière is not half the size of Texas. It is half the size of Australia. My advice is to start modestly. Half the size of Wyoming sounds about right.

      Delete
  3. Dear Nicole: We were going to send cards again, although maybe not as many as before because most people have computers now, and all the old folks that didn't have them have died off. We did almost nothing this year. We went nowhere and saw no one. So that’s going in our cards, if we send them - Barrie and Kathrine, North Vancouver, Canada

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Wha -??? Sorry, I nodded off for a moment.

      Delete
  4. Hello Nicole  tell Ron to look up oil pulling and read all about it. It might help his receding gums or stop them from receding further.  Oil pulling helped my gums. Merry Christmas - Don B., Burnaby, Canada

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oil pulling sounds preferable to tooth pulling. Ron's teeth are fine, but the dentist says the gums gotta go.

      Delete
  5. I’m not sending my traditional Christmas letter this year as I think my friends are probably bored reading the same old stuff. Normally my life doesn’t change much and I do the same things year after year - Richard H., Vancouver, Canada

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Consider taking up base-jumping. If it fails, at least you won't have to do it again.

      Delete
  6. Wer sind Sie und warum sind Sie Schreiben ich? - Helmut K., Hamburg

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

      Delete
    2. I remember my German, baby sister! I also remember that you used to live in Hamburg! xox Nicole

      Delete

Want to find a long-lost favorite recipe? Want to submit one of yours, or simply leave a comment? Always happy to hear from you!