Holiday Cheer

You know Christmas is a-coming soon when you get your first two Holiday cards in the mail. The first one is on our acting mantlepiece, a lovely display of affection sent by our local Hallmark store, the second one is still in its envelope. Where it shall remain for a while still. It’s from the paper-man complete with self addressed envelope inside. While I’m eager to display every holiday card sent to us, I’m in no rush with that one. If the only two greetings you have so far are from your card shop with coupon and your delivery agent reminding you to tip, then you’ll appreciate my next tips:

Pop that second card onto the shelf if the count is still low in two weeks time. Dig out some of last year’s unsent Santa greetings and add them to beef up the numbers. No-one will be the wiser. Which reminds me of the time when I received the exact same Christmas card from my friend two years in a row. How do I remember? It was Junior’s unmistakable Santa drawing that adorned the greetings. ┬áTrust me I don’t forget a green, crooked Father Christmas when I see one.

If you’re in a pickle financially, or too worn out to hit the card stores again, help is once again at hand: in the form of last year’s gently loved greetings. The ones you received in the mail and stuffed into drawers afterwards. If you’re a firm believer in the value of recycling, you’re practically morally obliged to follow this recipe for Winter Wishes bliss. You will need:

10 used Christmas/Hanukkah/ Kwanzaa cards
1 ball point pen.

Open each card, cross out all names vigorously, substitute with new recipient’s name and sign. So easy. Bet you’re thinking “Why I didn’t I think of this“, right? To “Jackie” becomes to “Aunt Louisa” and from “Uncle Ben” becomes from “Yours Truly.” I actually tried this once with a birthday card playing a prank on a sweet friend. Thing is I used the exact card she had given me for my birthday. To my utter disappointment she didn’t even notice. What kind of good friend doesn’t remember what card she lovingly chose for me? That is sad is it not?

Either way, moving forward – I am writing this post because today things changed in our mailbox. Today marks the first day of the arrival of a real Holiday card. Not from a company, not from someone who has no clue who I am. It was from a very good tea friend and it truly made my day. There was a handwritten greeting and there was tea. Wonderful, special tea in pretty little packets. I have to say, I’m not even going to joke about re-using her card. We will treasure it as we treasure her, and it is already on the pretend mantle. Firmly in front of the “card store-with coupon” one.

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