Baboon Pirates

Scribbles and Scrawls from an unrepentant swashbuckling primate.

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Location: Texas, United States

Thursday, December 16, 2004

The Great Xmas Card Game

I had a late dinner last night with Little Bee-Boy, and one of the items of conversation involved the etiquette of Christmas Cards.

I'm not a big Xmas card sender. Every 3rd year or so, I'll get a Yuletide bug up my ass, and go get a couple of boxes of the cheap Walmart cards with the least offensive picture and message that I can find. I'll then spend several hours writing, addressing, licking, sealing, stamping, etc. I don't maintain a huge circle of friends, and my mother still signs all our family's names to the cards she sends out to the kinfolk, so that (in my Scrooge-y mind) gets me off the hook sending them to relatives. Still, I need about 30-35 cards to cover everyone I want to send cards to.

Now, to add to the fact that I'm only infrequently filled with the Holiday Spirit, I'm also a world champion procrastinator. Often, the cards will go out by only 2-3 days before Xmas, so they get to the destinations either just in time, or 2 days afterwards, where they get lost in the piles of torn wrapping paper and empty boxes.

Last Xmas, I decided to do it right. I composed a moderately amusing poem that I emailed to my circle of acquaintances, mainly wishing them well, but also requesting that they send me their contact information so that I could email them a Xmas card. This was done towards the end of November, if I recall correctly.

Know how many responses I got? None. Zero. Zip. Nada.

Now, a sensitive, caring person would immediately assume all his "friends" hated him, and plunged into deep, dark despair. The sensitive, caring person would drown their sorrows in eggnog and mulled wine (Hell, I do that anyway) and gorged on Xmas cookies and then hung themselves using a twinkling strand of Xmas tree lights.

I, on the other hand, take a rational outlook on life, and sought out the deeper meaning. I'm only so-so on answering email myself. My circle of friends is pretty much the same way. Hence, it's not personal, we're just all lazy bastards.

"Not so!!" opined Little Bee-Boy last night over naan, saag paneer and murgh tikka. "Your timing is all wrong! You need to get the addresses updated earlier in the year!"

OK, now I'm confused. I want to send people Xmas cards. I need their addresses to do it. What's the fargin' deal? Just send in your boxtops, and you get a prize, dammit!

"You're guilting them if you do it in December!" said Bee-Boy. "Just ask them earlier in the year, and tell 'em you're updating your address book."

OK, I know the guilt factor. I'll admit to having played it in the past. C'mon, you know the Great Xmas Card Game, don't you?? This is the game where you deliberately delay sending out your cards until the last minute, then watch and see who sends you a post-Xmas reciprocal card, just 'cause they feel they have to respond. These, coincidentally, are usually the same folks you ask to help you move, or pick you up from the airport.

I'll admit to having moments of guilt when I receive a Xmas card in a year I'm not sending any out. Still, all I want to do this year is send you a Xmas card! I don't really want to deliberately increase anyone's guilt factor. Send me the damn address already! Play your mind games on your kids! They'll hate you in a few years anyway!

{El Capitan breathes a huge sigh of despair, and reaches for another glass of rum with a bit of eggnog in it}

OK, maybe next year I'll get it right. Buy the cards in the post-Xmas sales, store them until July, then break out the address book and commence to get 'er done. Mail them the day after Thanksgiving, and damn the guilt torpedoes.

I wonder if I can get anthracite coal sliced in little tiny sheets to tuck inside some of these cards...