posted by Joe Anaya on December 16th, 2013

It’s the holiday season and I’ve given up on sending out Christmas cards. It started after Thanksgiving, when I got excited to pick a cool card and send a quick “I’m thinking of you” card to my friends and family. Maybe do them while sipping hot cocoa by the fire. That’s a holiday image. Then comes the reality.

First, because I’m married, I have to pick a card that my wife likes as much as I do. Who am I kidding, we pick the card that my wife likes and I can tolerate putting my name on. “Sure, the silver ones with a red bird in snow looks good. I like the red envelopes,” I mutter as I put back the cards with the skeletal remains of Santa falling from the chimney in front of horrified children. (Just thinking of it, still makes me smile.)

I go through our address book to start addressing cards. There are a cornucopia of discrepancies among the addresses. “Did he move?” “Didn’t they get divorced?” “Why do we have two different addresses?” “Is their kid’s name spelled right?” Every January 1 my address book is clean, but by November 30th it’s messed up again, taking days to research and get straightened out again.

Now the labels. My wife picked some clear labels to look “classier” on the envelopes. I know there are templates in the software for the different label sheets available, but they rarely line up correctly. So, another hour and three attempts wasted adjusting the labels and printer settings. Then some of the addresses don’t fit on the labels we’ve picked. So, back into the database I go and tweak the reprobate addresses to fit. Reprint a sheet of random addresses.

One of the sheets has a bent corner allowing the sticker to peel off while running through the printer. Another hour spent unsticking the ungodly paper jam.

Finally, all the labels are correct and printed. I stick the first label on. The clear sticker puts the black ink on the red envelope and it’s unreadable. “Mother F**(&er!”

I’ve had it. As I go to the stationary store to try and find the exact same labels (Avery laser labels 5163) except in white, because God forbid I have to readjust the printer settings, my enthusiasm for this project has turned to resentment. “Why do we have so many friends?” “This is just a crass commercialization by the card companies?” “How much is all this postage going to cost?”

So, from now on, I’m sending out a mass email with a hundred blind CCs and a wintery picture of my choosing attached. Have a good holiday season. I know I will, now that I don’t have to send out any more cards.

File Under Jack of all Trades