Christmas Cards: an obscenely detailed checklist

  1. Decide that you’re going to frickin’ SEND OUT CHRISTMAS CARDS THIS YEAR.
  2. Take off at least 2 – no, better make it what you have left, all 8 – days off work.
  3. Make preliminary list of addressees.
  4. Check your Gmail, Google Docs, Facebook events, and the township tax assessors to figure out the most current addresses.  Laugh at how your be-all-and-end-all-spreadsheet from 3 years back is hopelessly incorrect on so many counts.  Put a star next to the 5 friends who are…somewhere…you’ll figure out where later.
  5. Gather up all the Christmas cards you have accrued.
  6. Debate how offended your Lutheran friends might be to receive cards from All Saints Convent, which you bought because they were pretty and doctrinally sound enough.
  7. Count your cards, but not in a Vegas casino way.  Find that you have 53.
  8. Discover more addresses, and also summery and autumnal address labels.
  9. Add new addresses to spreadsheet, while wondering how much those address labels cost the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, considering that they send them to you quarterly at no charge.
  10. Hunt for church directory, because what you really need is a longer addressee list.
  11. …Hunt….more…
  12. Find it under a heap of notebooks!
  13. Hope no one has moved in the past 4 years besides the associate pastor.
  14. Realize that the thing you have is a pictorial directory, not one with addresses or phone numbers.
  15. Look through it anyway.  Add 15 families to your list.
  16. Get to the end to find that your efforts have been rewarded!  There ARE addresses here, just at the end.
  17. Wonder idly about the etiquette of addressing one of the church ladies by her full name when you only learned it from the directory.
  18. Wonder what people actually write in Christmas cards, if they aren’t just a family-picture postcard.
  19. Gather up three shoeboxes of old correspondence to investigate the question.
  20. Find that one shoebox actually contains shoes.
  21. Read some old cards.  Resist tearing up, barely.
  22. Hit up your friend’s Tumblr’s “seasonally appropriate” tag to turn on Strictly Advent music.
  23. Count your envelopes (40?  How did you end up with 13 fewer envelopes than cards?!), address labels (plenty), and stamps (48 Forever, 12 44-cent stamps, which should get the job done, unless you add further people to your list, which is nigh-on inevitable at this point).
  24. Re-count your list of addressees.  Debate adding choral union people.  Briefly ponder etiquette of divorcee names.
  25. Make a cup of tea and also a bitter-orange soda.
  26. a-child-is-born-cover-final-600Find that the “seasonally appropriate” tag has only 4 songs in it so far. Put on the King’s College choir singing John Rutter settings of Advent and Christmas music.
  27. Consult the post-its that your past self put on certain cards to earmark them as especially appropriate for certain people.
  28. Actually write out 11 cards!
  29. Get waylaid by a Tumblr friend asking for “religious Advent music,” as though there were a secular equivalent.  Get out hymnals to make a list of recommendations.
  30. Make another cup of tea and eat, like, a pound of green beans.
  31. Sort out which cards go to the Catholic friends.  Write out 6 more cards.
  32. Cook the Advent bacon your roommate got you and make yet more tea.
  33. Wonder whether the addresses in Superior Charter Township get addressed as such, or if they’re sent to Ypsilanti.
  34. Have roommate confirm that yeah, they should all be addressed to Ypsilanti, because the Superior Charter Township has no post office.
  35. Earmark more cards before you stop for the day because you have choir practice.
  36. Go off the deep end completely and ponder writing out an Advent hymn to send with said cards.
  37. Decide you are crazy.  Write 4 more cards.
  38. Try to figure out what to write to that one friend who deserves, like, the best words.  The most moving sort of tribute.  Fail.
  39. Seal up the two dozen or so that you actually finished.
  40. Leave open the cards you never found an address for, to puzzle yourself next year.

One thought on “Christmas Cards: an obscenely detailed checklist

  1. I can most certainly picture you doing all of this in my head. I too hope you haven’t moved all that recently, because there is a card hopefully making it’s way to you right now. And your cards are beautiful. They prompted me to sing the entire chant.

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