E-Cards Suck

There’s absolutely no question that the laziest form of writing is to recycle old stuff. But, it happens all the time in more professional literary circles, so I am unapologetically reposting my seasonal admonishment about electronic greeting cards. First posted in 2010, I feel as strongly now as I did then. Enjoy……


OK, folks, it is time for some really straight talk. I know I tend to be very obtuse in these blogs, leaving it to your imagination to figure out what I’m really thinking, where I stand on issues, how I view the world. Today’s topic is too damned important so I’m going to be as blunt as I possibly can be. Ready?


I am serious. I really mean business.

You’ve got two very simple options – send me a lightweight cardboard Christmas card, with some pithy saying, in an envelope, delivered by the United States Postal Service, including a picture of your family. Or, send me nothing. At your option, you may include a one-page single-spaced 12 pt font letter detailing the goings on in your family over the past year. I promise to read it, but I also promise to read it aloud to the roaring laughter of my entire family if you make preposterous claims about your 10 year old, who I observed struggling to walk and chew gum last summer, playing on the travel basketball team or your 4 year old having mastered the tenor sax.

I know we’re being serious here (no kidding, I’m deadly serious, do NOT send me an electronic Christmas card. Just don’t do it), but I do have to laugh at some of the family Christmas letters we get. Hey, we sent them when our kids were younger and I’m sure you all laughed at me, but c’mon. Some of the stuff in those letters really is funny. I would invite my blog readers (both of you) to submit comments with the funniest thing you’ve ever read in a family Christmas letter. We tend to categorize them into a few groups. I’ve provided an excerpt from each of these.

  • The “Vacation Letter” – it goes something like this.

In January we went to Hawaii. In March, John had a business trip to Akron and the whole family joined him. It was so much fun to see the tire factories. In April, we took a weekend away from the kids in the Poconos (wink wink). In August, we went to the beach. In September we all went to Disney World. In December, we went back to Akron because we all loved it so much. Merry Christmas!

  • The “Friends You’ve Never Heard of Letter” – This one really bores me to tears.

We were so fortunate to see so many of you this year. We saw Phyllis and Bobby when they were in town for William and Jody’s wedding. It was so great to see them. We loved our trip to Akron because we got to see Sarah, Winnie, Joey, and Dehlia. In September, we saw Sam and Arlene and their 3 beautiful children. We sure hope we get to see you next year!

  • The “Medical Report Letter” – Sorry, but this one is just plain depressing. You know how it goes.

We had a difficult year. We lost our dear Aunt Esmerelda in February. We will all miss her very much.  Then, Stanley’s hemorrhoids came back again, only much worse than last time. He can hardly sit down. My PMS has gotten much worse and I think I may be pre-menopausal. Both kids had colds twice this fall and Johnny’s may be turning into bronchitis. We hope next year is better:(

  • The “Our Kids are Better than Your Kids Letter” – Just makes you puke.

 It was another great year for the kids. Justin made the travel basketball, baseball, hockey, soccer, fencing and football teams. It’s been tough for me to juggle the schedule, but his coaches say he could play professionally in all of them. He also started reading this year, which his pre-school teacher says is 2 years above grade level. Susie got straight A’s, starred on the 1st grade basketball team, and is now playing 3 different musical instruments. The New York Philharmonic made her an offer to join. We know your kids aren’t doing anything this impressive, but we hope they’re well anyway.

  • The “Excruciating Level of Detail Letter” – In the end, I find this one the most humorous.

We had a great year. In January, we got new garage doors installed. Stuart did all the work himself. Well, actually, he needed his friend, Stan Wilson’s help to put the chains on. But, otherwise, he did it all. We had a great summer too. We decided to drive across country. On the first day, we stayed at a lovely little B&B in Charlotte that had the best raspberry syrup we’ve ever had. The biscuits were incredible too. Frieda got 4 A’s and 2 B’s (the B’s were in Spanish and Art and therefore don’t count on her GPA – phew).  Jason got straight A’s. Well, actually he got 2 A-‘s, but at his school an A and an A- count the same until 9th grade so his GPA is still a 4.0. His basketball team won their first 2 games, then lost 3, then won 2, then lost their last 4. Zzzzzzzz.

Please share your faves, but, please do not miss the broader point of this blog. I am totally 100% serious about the e-Card thing. Do NOT send me one!

About Bruce Robertson

Bruce Robertson is an amateur writer and professional provocateur
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1 Response to E-Cards Suck

  1. BlueLoom says:

    What a great coincidence. This morning, I rec’d an e-card from (…wait for it…) my Barclaycard credit card provider. Whew! I’m soooooo glad. I was really wondering if they cared.

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