Don’t Lick This Card…

I started this post about ten days ago…but caught the flu so bad, I couldn’t finish writing it. I kind of collapsed instead.  I am finally crawling back up on my personal hobby horse–the bedeviling holiday traditions that trap you in a tinsel choke-hold and won’t let go!




I won’t say that I am single-handedly keeping Hallmark alive, but of my entire family, I am the only one I know who sends holiday cards because I have to and despite the fact that I lost all religious affiliation years ago.

I have never been diagnosed with OCD (?Overly Cheerful Demeanor?), but it’s the only explanation I can find for why I put up a Christmas Solstice Tree, bake and decorate a bajillion festive cookies and, of course, send out the ubiquitous holiday cards.

It’s a sickness really.

I waited too late this year though. The holiday came and went (a Day Early) and I had yet to write out a single card. You’d think this was a sign! Maybe this year would be the year? Can I break the cycle?

Turns out…no. I can’t.

Four boxes of holiday cards at the ready—espousing nicely generic season greetings—printed family photo montage highlighting 2017 high (and low) points ready to go, festive stamps at hand, I sat at a table and manically wrote out a personalized greeting to everyone on my list.*

Did I mention I was suffering the worst plague at the time and, maybe, started hallucinating about half-way through the pile?**

To say some of my cards were a bit weird…well…I really wish I had taken pictures of some of the better entries. Fortunately, friends were willing to send me a few as proof of madness friendship.  Seeing them now, they don’t sound nearly as weird as I thought they were at the time.

But, I do remember a few choice comments I wrote:

“Dear Boston-Family,

Please remember on New Years Day to toss a roast beef out your front door before heading out. This is to feed the dragon perched on your gables. It need not be cooked—many dragons prefer a raw gift—but a nice sear is also appreciated.

Do not forget to watch for acid-spitting lizards though. They are much more temperamental and you’d be advised to crawl out a side window to avoid them…”


The longer I wrote, the more like a cry for help some of the cards started to resemble:

Dear Chicago Friends,

“I do not understand why or how this tradition started?! Nobody writes physical mail anymore! What is the point? This is going to reach you well past the New Year and, honestly, I’ll probably have babbled ten times equally dull daily complaints on Facebook. Maybe next year I’ll just do that. I’ll Tweet my greetings! Except, that I am a Luddite, and eschew Twitter. Not just because a certain member of our government has made it his bilious verbal diarrhea playground…but because I have standards. Dammit.

I practically accused my California cousins of outright smugness in their choice of vacating Michigan winters for the dubious joys of living on the San Andreas Fault:



Then there were the feeble attempts at humor involving the likely contagion I was spreading this season:

Dear Philly Friend,

“…can you catch depression when you catch a cold? Mostly it’s the fact that I had all of my cookie rolled, cut, baked and nearly all frosted when this cold happened. As a result, I didn’t dare send them to anyone…for fear of spreading the contagion…

Apparently, I’m less circumspect with card distribution. Don’t lick this card. You’ve been warned. Probably too late though. You’ve already licked it haven’t you? Sigh. Oh Well, swift recovery to us both in 2018!”

InkedDon't Lick This Card_LI - Erased image

Then I hit the wall I always hit after about four hours of writing inane holiday greetings (interjected with subliminal pleas for the madness to stop–see below). I start doodling to fill up the dreaded white space:


Holiday Card - Boston

I have a list of about sixty people to whom I send cards. I had enough holiday stamps for about half of the list…after that, you got a Wonder Woman or Star Trek stamp depending on your likeliest affiliation. When in doubt, I used one commemorating the eclipse!

The later on the list your name appears, the weirder the card entry you’ll likely get. Also, the more my dyslexia and spoonerisms would crop up.

I can only imagine what the person getting this one thought of it all…

Tingling Coccyx Greeting.
I am planning on writing a carol entitled: “May All Your Coccyges Be Bright!”


I have no choice. I have to send them. Then again, THEY have no choice, poor people, but to accept them. And secretly, I hope they like them and send me one in return.   It is the obsessive compulsive gift that keeps on giving!

In the end…only Hallmark really wins.

Booger Car Ride Signature

Asterisk Bedazzled Footnotes*:

*I cannot send a blank card. Really. Unless I am at death’s door, so a few of you may have one of these rare creatures. When I hit that marathon writer wall, I autographed a few and called it good. I’m still shuddering from the absence of ink though.

**I started to feel a little human, but the persistent cough worried me. So I went to a med center and caught a completely different virus. If this piece is unfinished, I probably died mid-sent…



Death Plague Victim

19 thoughts on “Don’t Lick This Card…

  1. It’s probably wrong that I laughed all the way through this. I never send cards, and my friends are gradually weeding me out of their lists (and who can blame them?), but I ADORE getting cards! I may have to start sending them, but mine will never be as magnificent as yours, unless I get well tanked before I begin. Hmmmm…. Incentive….

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You know, it has never before occurred to me to do shots while writing them!! I think you have hit on a key strategy that I will incorporate in years to come. Feel free to join me and salute my annual incipient inebriation.


  2. Your card obsession is perversely heroic. Cards are my favorite part of the whole season. I like making them, sending them, getting them and I could just forget the whole rest of it. I’d crack up if I got one of yours. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. If you want one, I still have a few random cards leftover from my also-obsessive card purchases. What is it about a box of beautifully designed card/envelope stationary that just makes me swoon? And little matching stickers to cover the backflap? *Double sigh. Rest wrist against forehead.*


  3. This cracked me up! I mean, I had one hell of a time and coccyx pushed me over the edge! Thank you for your self-deprecation and the ugly truth of illness vs compulsion.
    I didn’t get all my cards out in time. Instead, I bought blank cards and wrote within them my joy of having received one in spite of my failings. Sent them out January 4.
    Life is hard, writing is good 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for reading until you got to coccyx. Considering how consistently I misspell that word, I’m glad someone got to see it in the end. (Hahahahaha. Okay. Maybe I need more sleep. I found that way too funny.)

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I do love this… especially feeding the dragon, there is a whole story behind that card (I hope)… writing such cards sounds like a chore. It’s such an irony that yesterday we had a prompt on handwriting… your heroism is a reminder of a time long since passed.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Heroism has never looked so much like a cry for help before. But, it is the nicest interpretation of madness I’ve been offered, so I accept it gratefully.

      As to handwriting, my execrable script is one of the reasons I took so willingly to the digital world. I can type legibly for a change, even if it has little effect on my coherence or general sense, at least people can make out what I am saying, if not what I mean!


    1. I am mentally romanticizing your trip to Scotland:

      Seated in a train, crossing the country surrounded by a clickety-clack rhythm that threatens to put you to sleep. The cold of the window reminds you not to rest your head against its icy surface. Perhaps it is snowing…or more likely raining…and the susurration of the noise of the tracks and the falling rain beats in time with your heart. You put pen to paper and find words you’ve never put together in quite this way before. For as long as the train is moving the words will meet the page in a synesthesia traveling from your rocking body, murmuring through to your pen, of sound, sense, and meaning. Magic.


  5. I pretend all my kids Christmas cards from school are really mine. I’m not sure what I’m going to do when they move out but I’m guessing I will attempt to write them to myself. They should be on display the following June. Go you, you are a star 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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