The U. S. Postal Service Probably Stashed My Christmas Cards Under A Viaduct In Chicago…Again

PostmanStamps+HolidayIt’s that time of year again.  A time when everyone is filled with the milk of human kindness and a desire to help their fellow man.  Fellow men like those working at the U.S. Postal Service.

Christmas card season is the one time of year the Postal Service earns its keep.  The rest of the year they have nothing to deliver except those cardboard packets containing CDs  that stamps.com sends to every household in America each month.  In an ironic twist worthy of inclusion in an Alanis Morissette song, the Postal Service’s biggest customer is trying to convince everyone to print their stamps online, thereby making the local post office even more obsolete.

But people don’t just send Christmas cards to provide postal worker job security; they are sending a message.   That message is often hard to find beneath the foil, glitter and mushy sentiments.  Here’s a handy guide to help you unlock the REAL message of  holiday cards.

christmascardkardashians Family Photo:

1)      The look: Photo of holiday-dressed, cute kids says, “I started getting ready 3 months ago by shopping for matching outfits, getting the kids dressed, taking the photo, having the cards printed, stamped and in the mail a month before Christmas.  Now I’m off to bake 20 dozen cookies for the school sale, then alphabetize my pantry.”
2)      The message:  One of 5 available canned message/border combos says, “I got a discount coupon for holiday printing at Walgreen’s.”
3)      Who sends it:  Uber-organized, driven Super Moms one step away from a nervous breakdown.

christmascardbusiness2Corporate:

1)   The look: Glossy finishes, foil embellishment and heavy card stock all contribute to a rich, elegant look that says, “This is a tax write-off.”
2)   The message: Generic wishes for “the season” are as neutral as possible to avoid incurring the wrath of easily offended religious or anti-religious groups.  Businesses would just say Happy Winter if they didn’t think that would seem to favor Wiccans.
The stamped signature (either foil embossed or simulated signature font) sends the joyous holiday message, “I’m too busy and important to bother to sign this myself.”
3)   Who sends it: Your accountant, lawyer or investment adviser.  More accurately, their secretaries, since that is who handles the whole process from ordering cards through separating the wheat from the chaff on the client list to printing mailing labels.

ChristmasnewsletterNewsletter:

1)      The look: Tri-fold, single sheet with narrative interspersed with pictures of the family schussing in Vail says, “My Publisher program came with several newsletter templates.”
2)      The message: Braggy McBraggart lists of kids awards, job promotions and exotic trips taken that year says, “My life is better than yours.”
3)      Who sends it: Old classmates, kids friends’ moms, former lovers, your sister-in-law or anyone else who wants to rub your nose in their success.christmascardpegGenuine card:

1)      The look: Elegant scene says, “Let’s celebrate the reason for the season,” without bashing your head in about it all.
2)      The message: Handwritten note starting with an anecdote about the dog barfing on the Christmas tree skirt and ending with good wishes and blessings says, “I’m a genuine person who truly cares about you.”
3)      Who sends it:  Me.  If you didn’t get your card yet, blame the post office.  They probably stashed all my Christmas cards under a viaduct in Chicago once again.  Those bastards.

About pegoleg

R-A-M-B-L-I-N-G-S, Ram...Blin!
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54 Responses to The U. S. Postal Service Probably Stashed My Christmas Cards Under A Viaduct In Chicago…Again

  1. mistyslaws says:

    I’m in the first camp, but not even close to that organized or prepared. Close to a breakdown? Yes, yes that part is true. Pass the egg nog.

    And I hate it when your card gets lost under a viaduct. How many years in a row has it been, Peg? Damn.

    Like

    • pegoleg says:

      My personal letter-deliverer seems to have stashed my cards for about 4 years in a row now, Misty. That’s the only reason I can imagine that nobody ever gets them.

      Pass the egg nog with RUM, you mean.

      Like

  2. Wow, Peg, I’m impressed that you’re on the Kardashian’s Christmas mailing list, though judging by that photo, mail delivery is WAY behind.

    Like

  3. This year I decided not to do holiday cards. Even though I’m MORE grateful than ever, it just seemed like an insurmountable task. Instead, I’m borrowing from Misty’s camp & starting to send cards to people throughout the year.

    That said, I do enjoy receiving cards!

    Oh Peggy! Have a wonderful New Year. May you have a happy & healthy year ahead.

    xo

    Like

  4. The Cutter says:

    My family’s cards use a picture of my wife and I with the kid on whichever Shutterfly background matched up best with the picture. Or at least whichever background my wife thought matched up best. I was asked for an opinion which (as is usually the case in these types of things) I was told was wrong.

    Maybe next year, I’ll do some sort of humblebrag newsletter type thing, although I kinda think that’s just being redundant with the blog.

    Like

  5. BillThePraiseAndWorshipGuy says:

    I loved the Holy Picture juxtaposed with the “bastards..” comment…. More rum in the egg nog, please! Can’t wait to see you next week!

    Like

  6. Roxie says:

    The ones I send out are those free ones you get in the mail from charities, hoping to guilt you into donating, because they sent you something. If you get one that says something about a school for Native American children, it’s from me.

    Like

  7. Roxie says:

    Oh, and, for some reason, I always thought Eggnog had brandy in it. Is it rum? Is it brandy and rum? Or a lot of different liquors, like the Long Island Tea of Eggnog?

    Like

  8. susielindau says:

    Nice! I wonder what my cards say about me? Hahaha!

    Like

  9. Just think of how happy all the viaduct dwellers will be when they receive your heartfelt Christmas wishes. No one deserves them more than the viaduct dwellers.

    Like

  10. The “Christmas Card” I found really disappointing was the video card that “went viral” with the family rapping “Christmas jammies” to the tune of “Miami.” I thought it was cute at first, then thought the production value seemed awfully high for a family video. Then at the end it turns out that it’s an ad for the video production company the dad has started up. Crass crass crass.

    Like

  11. Ugh, yeah, the Watsons. God how I hate them.

    I was thinking of creating my own family newsletter describing in detail how much time I wasted this year creating a family newsletter.

    Merry merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to you, Miss Peg-0-Kringle!

    Like

  12. I’ve gotten quite a few e-Christmas cards this year. Then you could bypass the dastardly post office for good. :)

    Like

  13. Elyse says:

    I’m in the no holiday cards group. I do buy them every year, so I have quite an assortment. But address them? Write something to folks? Place stamps on them? How exhausting!

    Like

    • pegoleg says:

      Buying them every year is just as good as doing all that other stuff. It shows your heart is in the right place.

      Now me, I didn’t even buy them. Does thinking about the topic for the length of time it took to write this post (the first actually NEW post in almost 2 months, I’ll have you know) give me brownie points?

      Like

  14. Al says:

    I’ve solved the politically correct card problem. Mine simply say “Hope you have a happy Christmadanhanukwansa.

    Like

  15. Right on, Peg. Take a read at my post about Christmas letters – they are the worst! :) http://wp.me/p3h7aY-ZA

    Like

  16. Is there a designated time limit for how long you have to hold onto these things? I feel bad if I throw them away immediately, but I know I’ll never look at them again after that first time.

    Like

  17. Sandy Sue says:

    I know my Grinch is showing, but I gag at those letters. Who cares about all those kids I’ve never met? I want to get the dirt on the adults, the people I actually knew back in high school? And not just that they were hospitalized for diverticulitis. Tell me something REAL!

    Like

  18. Blogdramedy says:

    I don’t do Christmas cards. I do Christmas cocktails.

    Like

  19. katecrimmins says:

    My favorite Christmas card of all times was the ones my aunts used to send me when I was a kid. They had a dollar in them. Good times! A dollar went a long way those days (and I didn’t buy underwear or socks with it either!).

    Like

  20. Pingback: The Big Reveal, DIY and a Message | Susie Lindau's Wild Ride

  21. flyingplatypi says:

    I prefer to sent Mental Cards. I just thing really hard about sending them, then don’t but wished I did. This is probably also why I don’t have any friends.

    Hugs!

    Valerie

    Like

  22. Margie says:

    Christmas in December – just doesn’t work for me, so I’m moving the whole thing to February!

    Like

  23. Carrie Rubin says:

    I recognize all those types is cards, but I send none of them. It’s been several years since I mailed any out. Christmas became too hectic and stressful, so my Christmas cards were the first fatality. And the holiday is much more calm now. :)

    Like

  24. :)

    The only Christmas card we sent this year doesn’t necessarily have a lot of rhyme or reason behind it. Li’l D wanted to make one for his teacher, so we did. On PicMonkey. Needless to say, the fact you can put a BEARD on a HEART is . . . well, magic. Add arrows all over the picture? More magic! And there you have our one Christmas card.

    (Do you suppose we could blame our still not sentarrived wedding thank you notes on the USPS?)

    Like

  25. amelie88 says:

    We have usually used Shutterfly.com for the family photo Xmas card and then I am supposed to write the family Christmas letter (but no fancy Publisher newsletter type formats, it’s just a letter written in Microsoft Word). This year though, we never really got to taking any family photos so my mom bought some nice looking Christmas themed Christmas cards and my dad wrote the Christmas letter (because I was just too overwhelmed and just not in the mood this year and I am supposed to be in a wedding this weekend so it just got to be too much). But I had to go back and edit my father’s letter because my mom didn’t think people would get his sense of humor, so it reads really weirdly since it is clear two people wrote it. So you are not the only one who “didn’t have it together,” we got pretty lazy too.

    Like

  26. snarksense says:

    I’m in the “humiliate my dog with slightly snarky card” camp… what does that say about me? Ha! I love this post.

    http://snarksense.wordpress.com

    Like

  27. Dana says:

    This was the first time in a looooong time that I didn’t mail out handwritten Christmas cards to everyone. I didn’t even send out a generic holiday e-mail blast! I held on to the tradition for years, but when I realized I was the last real-card-sender standing out of everyone I knew, I waved my white flag and called it quits. Bah-humbug!

    Hope you and your family had a beautiful Christmas, Peg!

    Like

  28. I somehow missed this gem when you posted. Blame it on the continuing “new computer & software” transition. New computer almost stopped me from sending out all my beautiful Christmas cards this year what with labels and templates, etc.
    But I was determined to continue my card sending ways. I was successful once again – later than usual, but those gorgeous cards you can hold and look at (even when the internet is down) were worth the effort. I know the joy I feel when I receive a card instead of a bill in the mail.
    It was great seeing you at Christmas.
    Happy New year, too, dear sister!

    Like

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