I brought several mismatched and incomplete boxes of blank Christmas cards with me to the Mercedes dealership where my car was scheduled to receive its routine "B" service, whatever that means. It's only a week before Christmas, the usual time of year for me to address and mail my cards, whatever that type of procrastination means (by the way, I was 1,200 miles late for my "B" service, too).
As I looked over my list of friends, family and in-laws to whom I send cards every year, I realized that my assortment of blank cards wasn't "appropriate" for everyone. I had to select certain types of cards for say, a friend, as opposed to a former coworker or in-law.
For instance, the card with a picture of a fashion-conscious woman gaily carrying tons of shopping bags while walking her tiny dog on a pink background, wasn't appropriate for one of my in-laws, who would prefer something of a religious nature. My close friends, on the other hand, would much rather have a silly card with something, let's say, sacrilegious, on it.
Is this bad? And what about what's written inside of the cards? I have a friend who doesn't get along with my husband and viceversa. Why would I write that my card to her is also from him? So I didn't.
And then what about the relative with whom you've recently had a falling out? Do you sign the card "Love" so-in-so? I think not. Well, maybe I do still love her but I'm just not feeling generous enough to tell her so... My bad.
Some of the people in our lives know us better than others, and a few misunderstand us completely. But at Christmas we must all get along or at least pretend. Our relationships with others have certain boundaries and shapes, intensities and definitions. Our Christmas cards reflect these. In some cases I suppose it's appropriate to allow for these differences and in others, it's just sad.