Signed, sealed delivered

I am, by any measure, a lover of greeting cards. Any opportunity to ship one off with a personalized note is exciting for me. The holidays, however, amp up my deliveries and my requirements, so I usually start early. By the time I’m done, I’ve had plenty of practice getting everything signed, sealed and delivered!

Last year, however, I kind of fell off the wagon. I made my holiday card purchases too late and ultimately ended up with the disappointing e-card thingy.

Fortunately, the mass of holiday cards I purchased last year were all waiting for me now. Not willing to allow my procrastinating spirit infect me, I jumped on the cards right away this year. Without further preamble, let’s take a look!

Signed

Going in, I had the unenviable beat up wrist. Wearing the carpel tunnel brace while typing is rough. Wearing it while writing is tougher. And signing is just about impossible.

So, off came the brace. Of course, that meant two dozen cards to fill out without “protection”. In an odd, but fortuitous, happenstance, the cards I chose for this year were tiny. Probably about half the size of “regular” cards. But they were pretty and sparkly (but darn if those sparkles don’t get everywhere).

I do like to personalize every card I send. If nothing else, I write a short note in each. I think it makes it more significant and I like it, too.

Yes, by the time I was done with all of them, my hand was pretty achy. I forgot each one needed to be addressed, too. Well, not forgot (duh), more like forgot how much extra writing that meant.

Still, because of the small cards, I couldn’t get too wordy and the hand is not so bad in comparison to the warm feeling of sending holiday greetings.

Messages filled out and signed. Time to get those puppies sealed!

Sealed

Every year is a discovery for me. In life and in cards.

I’ve always been a saliva man (don’t worry, my blood work is spotless). Hallmark constantly tries to give me those little gold seals but, really, they’re useless for actual mailing.

When I wrote my first book and was attempting to find an agent and/or reviewers, I sent out dozens upon dozens of letters. For that massive task, I bought one of those sticks you fill up with water and it has a sponge on the end. That worked for a mass mailing, but everything else is lick sealed.

So, I was dismayed when, after licking my first holiday card envelope, it wouldn’t stay sealed. I worried that the gum had worn out in just a year.

After some staring, I realized the cards had a strip of paper that, when removed, covered a self-adhesive tape to seal the envelopes. No licking required. I felt a little silly for not noticing originally, but, hey, at least no one gets a slobbered card this year!

All that was left was to get them delivered!

Delivered

First, a note about deliveries.

I have a lot of friends (and family) that I would send cards to. Sadly, many of them I have no address for. Or they have moved and I have no new address for them.

It can’t be a case of trying to avoid me, because I have their emails. Duh. So, I guess they’ve just neglected to update me on their new homes (or old homes in the case of no address at all).

What that means is, if you’re reading this and we know each other by actual name, the reason you didn’t get a “real” card is that I don’t have your current address.

You can send me that right now, anyway, or you can wait and see if you’re on the naughty list (which, of course, I would have no access to). For you “naughty” types, you get an e-card. But it’s a mass e-card, so you miss out on the personalization. That’s the price you pay for being Gollum-like with your address.

For the rest of you, thank you. Your addresses give me the excuse to visit the Post Office and indulge myself in stamp buying. This is a fun event for me. I stroll up to the counter and simply say, “What fun stamps do we have in stock?”

Sure, if there’s a bunch of people behind me, I feel a small pang of guilt, but this year, the office was mostly empty. I ended up with five different sets of stamps, including some really cool ones.

The cards are all going out today. I’ll probably send the e-cards out early next week, so everyone gets theirs roughly the same time.

It’s always fun to send out cards and the holidays give me the chance to hit everyone I know all at once. Yeah, it’s a bit of a strain on the fingers and wrist, but nothing makes me happier than seeing all those cards are signed, sealed and delivered!

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