I think I have a new pet peeve. I found it last week in my mailbox. It’s no secret that this has been one of the hardest years of my life. I have faced challenges I never could have imagined, and I’m really pushing myself to hold onto my Christmas spirit despite the hardships. Last week I opened the mailbox and there it was.
A card! Yes, the first Christmas card of the season, with the thicker paper and the holiday sticker seal and the pretty handwriting, but I didn’t recognize the out-of-state address. I tore it open with the anxious excitement of a 5 year old on Christmas morning only to find Season’s Greetings from Direct TV. I don’t even have Direct TV. I don’t even want Direct TV, but apparently, they’re wishing me well anyways. (Note to Suddenlink: You made a killing of of me this year, and you didn’t send a card, hope you plan to pass that savings on to me!)
UGH, I promptly put that in the junk pile that tends to build up in my car until my dashboard starts to look like a recycling center and went about my day. I remember when Christmas cards were such a fun part of the year. When I was a teenager, my mother would give me her list and I would practice calligraphy on the envelopes. Then when I first got married, I couldn’t wait to send out my cards, complete with an updated picture of the kids. I even loved picking out the perfect box of cards to reflect my own personal style.
Then as cards would start to come in, I proudly hung them somewhere for all to see. At the end of the year I didn’t toss them out, I’d stick them in a big envelope just in case I could make something out of them.
I have some old table runners made by my great-grandmother and my great-aunts with old cards sewn to them, and I always say I’m going to do something like that…. I was going to sew them or decoupage them or do like my grandparents and maybe even send out old ones as a joke- I had conjured up a lot of options. Maybe I should make my own Pinterest board full of crafts to resurrect from the days of my great-grandmother. She also made kissing balls- a sort of mistletoe alternative- they were all sorts of sizes and you hung them from the ceiling and they were bedazzled before bedazzlers were even invented. I checked Google, and there are no images matching her version, but I think I might have one or two packed away in my boxes. I should definitely bring back the kissing balls.
Just as I started to get carried away with my mental list of things from 1940 that I could remake, I opened the mailbox, and once again I thought the first card of the season had arrived. NO NO NO! This time it was a greeting from FORD. Not only did Ford Motor Company want to wish me a Merry Christmas, they wanted to be sure I knew my local Ford dealership is here waiting to serve me. I guess they missed the most shared blog I ever penned, Built Ford Tough, in which I pointed out their flawed practice of living up to the jokes- you know the ones about a car that is destined to be Found On Road Dead… Fixed Or Repaired Daily… because it’s a Funky Old Rebuilt Dodge… Fast Only Rolling Downhill! Hmmm, either they missed that post, or they’ve forgiven me for hoping to take the story of a ripped-off customer viral. Maybe I should appreciate the card, but fake greetings are just my new pet peeve.
I guess we should add Christmas cards to list of things that have been tainted by our generation. Shame on us. We’ve let Facebook and Instagram and Twitter take the place of our carefully handwritten letters at the close of the year. We’ve posted so many status updates that everyone already knows how we’re doing. The mailbox has become a lonely place rarely graced by anything truly personal, and what does Corporate America do? They come up with a font to fake some handwriting to try and make us think Direct TV really wants us to have a wonderful holiday season. I’m not buying it, but I think I might need to get out my pen, and let a few mailboxes feel the old glory of a true holiday greeting. Like Jose Feliciano would say: “I wanna wish you a Merry Christmas from the bottom of my heart! Feliz Navidad!!”