Tuesday, December 14, 2010

The UnBearable Holiday Cards

Even the e-cards seemed to be too much bother: I stopped sending out Christmas cards years ago. It wasn't a sudden stop, more of a gradual fade. It was my way of going green long before going green was in vogue.

I don't begrudge anyone who still takes the time to send out a real, physical holiday card. In fact, I do appreciate being on the receiving end of the thought. It's probably helping the post office with stamp purchases and keeping hallmark in business. [Though one could argue that the postal carriers would prefer we all go digital with those cards.]

But I have to ask, if you are scrambling each year to find the same addresses that you scrambled for last year and the year before, and you're trying to figure out which friends will be offended if you say xmas instead of holiday (did we remember the Chanukah cards for our accountant?)...is it really worth the hassle?
It's one thing to get pictures of the children, or a newsletter with an update on what you and the fam have been doing all year, or even a personal note inside the card cover.  But when I open the card and it's just your name and your family in the same hand writing, part of me wonders, what's the point?

Over the years I've got cards from friends with pictures of their kids. But some, presumably in a rush, didn't write the name and age of the child on the back. So while your kid looks great in glasses in and braces, I cannot tell yours from the other five friends who got married ten minutes after college graduation and started spawning a family.

Speaking of newsletters, I recall once getting a couple of newsletters from two mutual friends, lets call them the Jones and the Smiths. I talked to one of them on the phone shortly after getting the cards, but they hadn't talked to the other yet. I mentioned a few things from the newsletter (and yeah I was cheating because I had it right in front of me) and they were surprised I was so up to date on the other person.

I asked "didn't you get their xmas card?"

They responded "Yeah but we haven't had time to read it yet...hey did you get ours?"


How It All Started:
  I've been a Bears fan since 1995, when I started playing in the office Confidence Pool.  In order to figure out which teams to pick, I started watching the games and got hooked on the local team.  That was the year they went 9 and 7 and missed the playoffs because of an early season loss to Atlanta. Little did I know that this irony would set the tone for my life long agony as a Bears fan.

History tends to repeat itself. In 2008 they also missed the playoffs with a 9-7 record thanks in part to a loss to Atlanta. 

In 2001, after several sucky seasons, they cruised to the playoffs and after a bye-week got beatup by the Philadelphia Eagles. History repeated itself in 2005.

In 1994, after a sketchy season, they backed into the playoffs and surprised everyone by advancing in the wild card game against Minnesota on the road.

So the question is, will 2010 be a surprise in the playoffs like the 1995 wild card team that surprised everyone and advanced one round, only to get crushed by San Diego?

Or will they miss the playoffs entirely? Right now they are posed to win their division unless the Patriots don't show up at home next Sunday against the Aaron Rodger-less Packers. Even then, they would just have to win another game against the Vikings that Monday.  I'm not saying they couldn't find a way to lose and drag this out.  What I'm really saying is this could be the year they return to the Super Bowl and lose to the AFC -- again.

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