November 30, 2000


David and I received our first Christmas card of the season in the mail yesterday: a lovely, tasteful missive of holiday cheer, sent to us by a pal from the old Baby Boomer Chat Room. Included with her card was a warm personal message, in her elegant handwriting, and a couple of gorgeous recent photos. She closed her letter by saying "Wishing you, Dave & Tots a blessed holiday and New Year."

I just want to slap her silly.

How DARE she break SecraTerri's #1 Commandment of Holiday Indifference?!? (Thou shalt not acknowledge Christmas until the last petrified Thanksgiving turkey drumstick has been tossed into the garbage ... or until 7:38 p.m. PST Christmas Eve: whichever comes first.) That goes for shopping, decorating, cookie-baking, GAP holiday commercials on TV ... annoying jazzy versions of "Oh Tannenbaum" piped-in over grocery store intercoms while you're buying TRICK-OR-TREAT CANDY, forcryingoutloud ... and the whole ritual of sending and receiving Christmas cards.

Technically it's not even December yet. Whut the hell is she thinking, sending her Christmas cards out this early??

And while we're at it ... how dare she try and push my guilt buttons by sending actual Christmas cards through the actual U.S. mail? Some of us enjoy hating the holidays, you know. (Or at least we like to tell ourselves we do: it makes it easier to forego all the stuff we don't have time/money/energy/spirit/room for, anymore. You try fitting a Christmas tree into a 400 square foot apartment.) Some of us are perfectly happy contemplating another holiday season.

Honestly. We are. We're fine with it.

So what gives her the right to remind us how much we really, secretly still love the whole business of snail-mailing Christmas cards back-and-forth?

And how much we miss it?

(And how we miss a whole lot of other stuff about the holidays but don't like to admit it, and in fact try not to think about it too much at all because it stirs up all these complicated emotions and memories and issues ... until the next thing we know we're sitting in front of the stereo again, listening to our stoopid Glen Campbell Christmas album and weeping over photo albums?)

Who does she think she IS, anyway?

Just for that ... you know what I'm going to do? I'm going to go straight to Barnes & Noble this weekend, with my groovy credit card and my groovy address book, and I'm going to buy not one but twoboxes of Christmas cards: one box sort of offbeat and funny, for my friends who ride ahead of the hip curve, and another box sort of warm and whimsical, for everybody else. (No puppies in Santa Claus hats, though. Even *I* have my standards.)  If I can't find anything I like at Barnes & Noble, then I'll go to Cody's in Berkeley, or to that funky little card store in the Castro District, or to a fudking HALLMARK SHOP, if I have to, until I find the perfect cards to express *my* feelings about the holiday season. I'm going to buy some of those fancy-pants Christmas stamps, too, and some Christmas seals if they still make them, and some stickers shaped like Christmas trees and snowflakes, and one of those silvery/glittery pens, and a few packages of that annoying red and green foil *confetti* that spills all over the floor when the unsuspecting recipient opens the card ... 

...  and then I'm going to come home and spread everything out all over the top of the bed, and I'm going to put one of the long-lost Christmas tapes onto the stereo -- maybe the first one, with two-week-old Jaymi hiccuping into the tape recorder, in between holiday songs taped off a Seattle radio station, circa 1981 ... 

...  and I'm going to pour myself an eggnog, sans rum of course, but with a buttload of nutmeg and cinnamon sprinkled on top ... 

... and I'm going to sit and write out Christmas cards, one right after the other.

Each one is going to be a work of art. Each one is going to include a handwritten note and a photo of SecraTerri & Ю僱êrvØ¡ . Each one is going to be a masterpiece of sincerity and warmth and holiday spirit, dammit.

Beginning with the one I send to Miss *Fluffy Holiday Hugz* herself.

That'll show HER.

[thanks, sharlie! we love you!!]

throw a rock