The Family Holiday Card

Screen Shot 2013-12-03 at 12.10.49 PMEvery year right around now, the wife and I (without fail) scuffle over the family holiday card.

It started when our daughter Casey was 2 or 3. Catherine wanted to make a card that featured a bunch of adorable little photos of our girl. I, at the time, was a militant Jew who thought our people sending out these things was simply yet another step toward the season’s overly commercialized pit of putridity.

She won.

When my son Emmett came along, the wife continued to design and send out cards. They were always cute and lovely and nice, and she was careful to avoid designs that featured Christmas trees or wreaths or crosses. This was good of her, though I remained sorta reluctant. On the one hand, I do enjoy receiving cards. Sending them—not so much.

Last year, on a semi-whim, I secretly designed (and mailed out) my own card. It featured weird pictures of the four of us, alongside the words JUST A BUNCH OF CRAZY JEWS AND A HOLIDAY CARD. MERRY KWANZA. I thought it was sorta funny. The kids didn’t. The wife didn’t. Once again, I lost.

To be honest, the whole holiday card thing confuses me to no end. In fact, holiday sentiments confuse me to no end. Yesterday we received a beautiful card from some good friends. It read WISHING YOU WARM HOLIDAY THOUGHTS. I get it. I do. But what does this really mean. Can one person—living in Texas—actually ship holiday thoughts to a person residing 1,500 miles away? Do these things transfer? And why, exactly, do we wish one another warm holiday thoughts? And do these thoughts need to be restricted simply to the holiday season? Can I wish you warm April 17 thoughts? Warm Wednesday thoughts? And is there a card for such a thing?

This is just a gut feeling, but I’m quite certain, somewhere atop a mountain, a bunch of greeting card and photo printing executives are laughing their asses off at us, trying to figure out which holiday they can conquer next.

I’m betting on President’s Day.