A Christmas Card Contest? Bring It

We got our first Christmas card this week. I was impressed. It was from Linda and Herb, my cousins in Pittsburgh. We still have a little bit of stuffing in a Tupperware container in our frig from Thanksgiving, and Linda got her Christmas cards addressed and mailed out.

This makes Linda an automatic winner in my new contest. As sender-outer of the First Christmas Card to Arrive in My Mailbox, she won one of the categories that I’m making up right now.

For years, my husband and I have been holding unofficial Christmas card contests. After Christmas, we go through all the cards we received and comment on which we liked the most. This year I’d like to make it official. If you’re sending me a Christmas card, try to win one of the categories. There are prizes (not).

Braggiest Dear-Family-and-Friends Letter

Those holiday dear-family-and-friends letters are notorious for bragging about kids’ accomplishments. I’m not being critical, I’ve done it myself, I’m just sayin’. If we get your letter and you mention that one of your kids is first chair something and on varsity something else, and helps old people or the handicapped, you could be a winner. Mentioning an SAT score gives you extra points.

Card Most Likely to Come From Nuni and Nuni

These are my favorites, so I will be the sole judge of this. We have a lot of friends who are super cool, and their cards are really sleek, modern, up-to-the-minute, contemporary coolness. The writing is all flat and stretched out, in all lower case letters; and there’s usually an abstract design on the front that is so not Christmasy. Even the envelopes are heavy and impressive. I know these cards cost $3-4 a piece and I just want you to know that I appreciate that.

Cutest Christmas Card Picture

This is my husband’s favorite, so he’ll judge this one. We love to get pictures in our Christmas cards, so we treasure all of them. But let’s face it: Some people’s kids are just cuter than others. And some people have better cameras.

Funniest Christmas Card

I think I know a couple candidates for this one. Mary Beth and Tom, our friends in Cleveland, have been posing their son in hilarious pictures for their annual holiday card for years. I dread the day when he gets to an age when he refuses to participate. (He’s 27, so it could be any year now.) Another contender is our former across-the-street neighbors in Lexington. A personal injury lawyer with four little kids, he used to write a short novel about life in his house and mail it with his Christmas card. I would pour myself an eggnog and sit down to read his recounting of a year’s worth of crazy toddler madness, even though I had heard all the shenanigans myself through the walls and across the street.

The Time Flies Award

This award will go to the Christmas card letter that has the most references to how fast time has flown, how you can’t believe how fast time has flown, and how it seems like just yesterday you were writing last year’s Christmas letter. Prerequisite for consideration is that such a reference must be your opening sentence, or at least after a short salutation such as “Happy holidays!”

Most Effort Put Into a Christmas Card

Could be a Photoshopped masterpiece, could be a homemade card that you can hang as an ornament, could be costumes involved, glitter, 3-Dness, edible parts or extra postage required.

Least Effort Put Into a Christmas Card

Pre-signed cards . . . no letter . . . no photo of the kids . . . mailing label . . . you get the idea. Why bother? Because you could win a prize here, that’s why!

Let’s talk about prizes. If anyone has an idea, speak up or forever hold your peace on earth. Comment here or send me an email at diane.fitzpatrick@mac.com and let’s see if we can come up with a couple of good prizes.

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