Sunday, December 17, 2006

It Was in the Cards for Today

With my teaching at the college finished for the semester and the grades submitted, I was able to devote part of today to my annual old-school holiday tradition: the addressing of Christmas cards. As I noted a few years ago, I'm just on the cusp of the generation that sends Christmas cards vs. those who use other types of greetings (e-cards, etc.). Actually, I cater to both demographics; I'm sure I'll send my close friends e-cards on Christmas Eve as well. But the actual mailed cards needed to go out with tomorrow's mail, and, since I have two somewhat full days and a half-day of teaching this week, I knew that today was the day to get this done.

As I said in the earlier post, my parents are big Christmas card senders; one of the first things I do when I get to their house is look through the giant basket of cards that they've received. My card recipients fall into categories similar to theirs: Almost all married couples, mostly over 50, about 1/3 relatives. My e-card list will probably equal the "snail card" number this year, but there is something to be said for the permanence of those cards, vs. the ones in your inbox that can be sent away with a simple click of the "delete" button.

I sometimes wish I had a little more time to do this--write a slightly longer note about what's been going on this year and all that--but I've noticed that everyone else is pretty busy as well, so the one- or two-line note seems to be the norm from those who send me cards.

I noted before that today's enhanced communication allows us to keep in much better touch with our friends and also to regain contact with old ones who had flown off the radar screen for a while. I wouldn't trade that convenience for anything, but I still have a place in my heart for the printed card, so I don't see that tradition going away anytime soon.

So how do you send greetings to friends and relatives during the holidays: Printed cards? E-cards? AIM or text messages? Or does it depend on the recipient? Feel free to chime in using the comments.

The modern equivalent of writing 500 sentences on the board: A South Carolina man who parked illegally in a handicapped spot was required to stand outside the store with a sign apologizing for what he had done.

This car needed a handicapped spot itself: A West Virginia man whose car "needed some work" decided to try to drive to the auto-parts store on three tires and a rim. Needless to say, he didn't get very far.

Nobody's gotten their goat yet: In an earlier post, I recounted the story of the giant straw Christmas goat in Gavie, Sweden, that had been the target of vandals so many times that it was covered in a flameproof material this year. Now, I'm happy to report that, thanks to that treatment, the goat has survived the first attempt to burn it down.

A special gift for the person who has everything: How much would you pay for a rare $1000 bill? One anonymous collector just shelled out $2.3 million for the privilege of owning one of only two known examples.

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