Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Yuletide Yabbering

Writing Christmas cards is a tricky business. I had forgotten this, until just now when I sat down to write a few.

The thing is, there are some friends I only see every few years. The Christmas card from last year may be the last time we communicated. So although we may share a history, and have maintained a bond, I'm not completely relaxed about what I write in my message to them.

It's an odd thing, but somehow I find myself wildly rambling in greeting cards. It's as if, let loose on the blank page, my imagination knows no bounds, and I begin to write random thoughts. I end up sounding kind of frenetic, slightly manic. I'd be disturbed if I received one of my own cards (of course, that would also mean I had resorted to sending myself Christmas cards, which even I must admit doesn't seem healthy)

And then there are my clumsy attempts at humour. I can't understand, really, because as a child I was nothing if not earnest, and as an adult I don't get any requests to do stand-up routines. In fact, I have this amazing ability to take a joke that was stomach-clasping-funny when told to me, and render it inert, lifeless, completely un-funny. It's my special skill. Yet, whenever I write in cards I begin to crack jokes. Generally bad ones. Occasionally they are in poor taste. I joke about locking our respective children in a cupboard so we can drink champagne on the back deck, and then I wonder if the card recipient will think I am half-serious. Will they read my words and frown, their index finger poised to dial Childrens Services? I dribble on and on with the dumb wisecracks, and then after perusing the card, I wince and sigh. Why? Why can't I write a nice, sweet, heartfelt Christmas greeting? Is that so hard?

I can just see my old pals reading with furrowed brow, and passing the card to their spouses with concern. "She wasn't like that at school. I don't know what's wrong with her. Maybe she's not well?"

I'm well, really I am. I'm bouncing with wellness, and I just get a little silly. It's all that Christmas cheer.

Tomorrow night I'll try again with fresh cards. No jokes, no dumb remarks. Just 'hello, Merry Christmas, and a Happy New Year to all!'. Safe, sensible. Sedately sending Seasons Greetings.

I hope you have more success writing all your cards. Best of luck!

18 comments:

Abandoned in Pasadena said...

Testing, testing. I haven't been able to leave a comment anywhere and by the comments left here (zero, zilch, nada) it looks like everyone is having the same problem.

I have the same effect with jokes...I can't tell one and make it as funny as the way I heard it.

Maybe your should try a generic newsletter...one copy fits all.

Abandoned in Pasadena said...

WOW! I can't believe I got to leave a comment. Just for that you get two comments from me. *LOL*

If you don't hear from certain people from one Christmas to the next what does it matter what you say and for the people that really know you, they know your humorous side...and whatever you say to them will be funny. Just be yourself and enjoy writing those witty little Christmas Cards.

shellyC said...

No I say keep up the jokes. I have a bunch of the boring kind that just get a glance to see who they are from. One with jokes would be read many times and therefore you would be thought of more!!!!

Why lock the kids in the cupboard while you drink Champagne - have them get it from the fridge and pour it for you!!!

Anonymous said...

O Jelly, how I laughed when I read this post!
It sounds just like me. I wonder after I have sent the wretched things, if I could somehow retrieve them, & re-do them.
Still friends from the past seem to understand- or never mention I seem to have become slightly cracked in my old & unfunny age!

Mimi said...

Loved this post, very funny! I wrote 40 cards two days ago in a manner of 4 hours so I'm sure they will be worse than anything you did.

Mimi

Anonymous said...

Hi Jelly! I imagine everyone who receives a card from you will have a smile on their face, put there by you!

My husband writes the annual Christmas letter (word processor, spell check, cut/paste, delete, edit). He just finished this year's version, and talked about bloggers from as far away as Australia!

Have fun sending out those cards!

Remiman said...

Jelly,
I'd love to get a card from you.
I do the samething...get all soapy and maudlin..write too much...it's embarassing. This year with rare exceptions I gave everyone my blog url and said Merry Christmas!
Look under the microscope.
So, Jelly, to you Fatty and the kids: Merry Christmas, and look under the microscope. ;-)
rel

Heather said...

I am sure your cards are warm and witty!

T. said...

Just did my cards and I suffer from the same symptoms: Yuletide Yabbering.

Either I crack ridiculous jokes, inform people who didn't ask and probably don't care that we are surviving with out the Bug or I make a tonne of spelling errors. Very classy.

And to top matters off, half the time I sign the card from T, Boo, Fric, Frac and Bug.

So people think I'm either crazy and can't let go of my child or that I'm seeing ghosts and going crazy.

Sigh. I love this season...

DayByDay4-2Day said...

Oh man do I relate.

Bec of the Ladies Lounge said...

I sound like an idiot in Xmas cards, which largely accounts for how late and unreliable I am in sending them.

I, too, am a card-babbler. Is there a self-help book in this, do you think?

Motherkitty said...

Whatever you write or do, we will always love you and your blog.

I hope you and the family have a very merry, wonderful, exciting, relaxing, fun-filled Christmas holiday. Best wishes from our house to yours.

Alice said...

I'm sure there must be a column in a weekly magazine just waiting for you to fill it, Jelly. Magazine sales would skyrocket as everyone bought each issue for their weekly fill of laughs - even if they are at your expence ... lol.

I'd love a zany card from you, Jelly, even if it took me the rest of the year to try and understand it. At least you would be constantly thought of.

Perhaps you should have the champagne BEFORE you write your cards and then you won't give a rip what you write.

Kerri said...

You're well Jell! You're one of the wellest people I know. I'd be giggling, gurgling and gasping, I'm sure, if I got one of your zany Christmas cards :)
I love to get the annual news each december from friends that I don't hear from often, and am always disappointed if they don't write something other than 'Merry Christmas'! I write a Christmas letter and send copies. It's the only way I could possibly do it. It still takes me several days to get all the cards sent out!

Anonymous said...

Jelly, just write this in your cards: Happy Hoidays - visit the real me at jellyheadrambles.blogspot.com!

Anonymous said...

(you know what I meant- HOLIDAYS)

Franny said...

I always write the same recycled sentiment about peace and happiness and joy filling your hearts and blessing your family so that we may see a better world, etc etc etc.
I thought about a family newsletter once, but it would all either sound like boasting, or complaining. You just can't win!

Val said...

A lapsed blogger stopping by to wish you a happy and serene holiday season!

THIS year instead of blogging I created origami Christmas cards to send to a chosen few - usually I send none, so that was an improvement.