Christmas Card Guilt

I didn’t get mine out again. They’re beautiful, too. I bought them last year after I lost the ones I didn’t sent out the year before. I’d like to tell you I don’t do it because it wastes trees or something, but the truth is, I love holiday cards. I’m just too disorganized to send the damn things out.

But I love the ones I get. (More guilt.) I don’t know if most of them have dogs on them because I love dogs or because the people I know are dog lovers. I got one from Susan Wiggs that was a beautiful beach scene with “Peace” spelled out in shells. She put a picture of her dog inside. (He’s darling.) Kathleen from Dachshund Rescue sent me a cute card of a Christmas tree filled with animals. There were no dachshunds so she drew one on. I had to look close to tell she’d added it, but it was so much fun.

I love the newsletters, too. I know it’s fashionable to make fun of those, but I love hearing what everybody did. My life is so boring–I wrote, I fed the dogs, I wrote, I fed the dogs, I wrote–so to hear about the places people went and all the things their kids did makes me happy. Susan Elizabeth Phillips has the best one: it’s all pictures with captions.

And then sometimes people send me stuff, and that’s lovely, too, although really you don’t need to. I rip the packages open with great glee, but you don’t need to. My second fave there: both my agencies give to charity instead of sending gifts to their authors. Makes me feel good all over, not just for the charities but also because I was so smart to choose such thoughtful people to work with. My fave because I’m greedy: Lani made me a blue canary night light to put in the outlet by my light switch which just plain makes me happy. And then there’s Milton and Veronica, my gifts to myself that keep on giving. And chewing.

The truth is, the holidays just sneak up on me. I’m not going to get the tree up this year, although I’m determined to do better next year. I’m not much for carols, either, although I do like watching this one. Best Christmas caroler ever was Judy Garland, extremely good for listening to while looking at a lighted Christmas tree in a dark room. (My favorite comment on this video is “I like her nose. I’ve always liked her nose.”) Holiday food is good, but it’s fattening. Plus it’s the end of the year. Time is running out to keep those resolutions I can’t remember I made. Time to look back at all the things I screwed up this year (like my Christmas cards) before looking forward to all the things I’m going to do brilliantly in 2008. Maybe that’s why looking a lighted Christmas tree in a dark room makes me kind of melancholy. Or maybe it’s Judy.

But I want to get those cards out. And a lot of my friends do other holidays besides Christmas so it’s not as if they have to go out now. Next week would be good. If I could find them . . .

Happy holidays to everybody I owe cards to. Next year, I’ll get them out in time, I swear. I think I’ll send them in January.

And especially happy holidays to all Argh readers everywhere. Whatever you’re celebrating, I hope you’re merry and bright and safe and warm and surrounded by those who love you. Especially if those who love you are dogs. Listening to Judy Garland. In the dark under a lighted Christmas tree.

Waiting for the card that never comes.