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SoapBox Guide to Christmas Cards December 6, 2007

Posted by Andy in Christmas, rants.

Those of you that send Christmas cards, or holiday cards, or whatever you call them, take heed. Unless your goal is to be mocked and ridiculed by the people you care enough about to send mail to, you should follow this guide. (Not to say that I will personally mock cards that do not follow this guide. I totally will, and may even think less of you as a person, but I’m not going to say that.)

The Message

Please don’t try to persuade me of anything as part of your mailing. You may have strong beliefs about stuff, and that’s fine, and I may even share those beliefs, but a Christmas cards should not be considered marketing literature. Just wish me a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year, and be done with it.

The Timing

Do not send me a Christmas card before Thanksgiving. Don’t even start working on it before Thanksgiving for that matter. We’re all impressed with how organized you are, but it disrespects Thanksgiving. Don’t send it after Christmas either. No matter what it says in the post-Christmas card, the message is always “My life is such a mess that I can’t even get Christmas cards out on time.”

The Christmas Letter

If you include a letter about what you and your family did this year, please know that most of what you have to say is more interesting to you than it is to most of the people to whom you send the letter. As such, keep it short. More than 1 page is too much. Also, and this is very important, only people who can actually write should write the letter. I do not want a letter that was “written” by your baby or your dog. This might have been a cute idea the very first time someone did this, but now it just full of wrong.

The Christmas Picture

Unless you live in the Southern Hemisphere, your Christmas picture should be Christmas-y. By that I mean holly, tinsel, decorations, sweaters, even Santa hats. I don’t want to see a shot of your beach vacation last summer. Send me that for Labor Day. For Christmas, it should be a Christmas picture. The picture should include the entire family. Even if you have the cutest kids in the world, I also want to see your old wrinkly face too, if for no other reason then to help me imagine what those kids will look like in 30 years. A bit of cropping and post-processing would be a good idea. Just say no to red-eye.

Happy Holidays!