How long will we persist with our old-fashioned paper Christmas letter? Well, until the modernistas drag my quill pen and parchment from my ever-aging traditional-writing hands.
OK, that's an exaggeration. I compose our annual holiday missive on my laptop, making use of Pages and iPhoto.
But then it's printed on my color laser printer. Yes, on paper. Here it is, in all of its PDF file glory, looking almost exactly as it does in its crinkly wood pulp guise.
Download 2012 Christmas Letter PDF
Read all about it! Cute photo of my granddaughter! New dog compared to old dog! Old guy learns how to land paddle on his longboard!
Some people have gone all electronic with their Christmas letters. But I still enjoy bringing the hot-off-the-printer copies to our living room/kitchen table, where I surround myself with tools of the Christmas letter mailing trade.
A box filled with cards that Laurel buys at after-Christmas sales and stores away. (I choose the most ironic, while Laurel favors cute animals.) Stamps. Christmas'y return labels charities kindly send us in hopes of a donation, which I'm happy to use so long as they don't say "Mr. and Mrs. Laurel Hines," as sometimes happens. (I'm liberated from marital stereotyping, but not that liberated.) My paper list of those who I send a paper card to.
The only negativity that accompanied this year's Christmas letter mailing came from Laurel. She looked at a stack of all-ready-to-be-mailed cards and said, knowing full well what answer she'd get, "Did you actually lick those envelopes?"
"Of course," I told my health-conscious wife. "I've licked envelopes all of my life with no adverse effects." This led to a semi-heated discussion about what is put into the part of the envelope that gets licked.
Turns out, nothing really bad, which I pointed out to Laurel after some Googling of this subject. Nonetheless, I learned that some people are opposed to envelope licking not so much because of its effect on the licker, but on the recipient.
If you get a Christmas card from me and are picky about what was on my tongue just before I licked the envelope, I guess you should use a letter opener (do they stlll exist?) or a knife to extract the card.
Or you could potentially exchange some molecules with me by using your finger. I say, live dangerously!
And keep on sending Christmas letters in whatever fashion you desire. We downplay the holiday season (our tree is below), but haven't kicked the paper Christmas card tradition.