If you haven’t sent out your Christmas cards yet, it’s too late now. Unless, of course, you want to get an early start for next Christmas. I have a love/hate relationship with Christmas cards. I hate writing them. Anymore, my hands are used to doing everything on the computer versus longhand. But I love receiving Christmas cards from other people, so I feel obligated to give them. However, there is always a disparity between sending them to people who don’t reciprocate and people who send me cards who I didn’t send one to. I guess I’m not the only one, as was illustrated in “The Born Loser” comic strip this week:

Gladys: We just got a holiday card from the Desilvios. How dare they?

Brutus: What’s wrong with that?

Gladys: I didn’t send them a card this year because they didn’t send one last year, so I didn’t think they’d send one this year . . . but then, at the last minute they send one and I don’t have time to reciprocate. How mean-spirited of them!

How many of us can relate to that? I always feel bad when someone sends me a card and I didn’t have time to get one out to them. On the other hand, there are people on my Christmas card list who I have been trying to drop for years—people who I barely know and haven’t seen in years. I skip sending them a card, and inevitably, they send us one, which means I have to hurry and put one in the mail before it’s too late. Seeing as how I’m writing this blog on Christmas Eve, I sincerely hope nothing comes in the mail today from someone I didn’t send a card to. Then there are people who I always send cards to who never send one to us. After years of doing this, I’m seriously considering leaving them off my list next year. Postage isn’t getting any cheaper. And let me just say that a Facebook Christmas card is not a substitute for the real thing that I can anticipate fetching from the mailbox, opening, and hanging up. So, call me old-fashioned.

Okay, maybe I’m being a bit petty. I don’t know if at my age I’m allowed to be petty or expected to be mature and rise above these childish grievances. After all, perhaps everyone doesn’t attach the same sentiments to Christmas cards that I do. I just remember that my parents went to a great deal of effort to produce original family Christmas cards every year, and I suppose that gene got passed down to me. But at least I don’t save every scrap of Christmas wrapping paper to re-use, like they did, although I do save cardboard boxes, none of which are ever the right size for whatever I need. But I digress again, as usual.

Christmas cards aside, I suppose we all have our idealized notions of what makes Christmas special. And despite my tongue-in-cheek Grinch-ness, the Whos had the right idea. Christmas isn’t about packages, bows, and all the trappings we think we need to make Christmas perfect, such as Christmas cards. Jesus already gave us the perfect gift nearly two-thousand years ago. That’s all we really need.

Wishing you a very Merry Christmas and a blessed New Year!