I Threw My Holiday Cards in the Trash – A Confession

It started with the stamps.

Last Friday, like a good and dedicated employee, I went into work. There were some appointments I had set up for the early part of the day. On the way home I popped into a Dominick’s grocery store to pick up a few items needed for the weekend. I remembered that all my holiday cards had arrived after Christmas and I was to send them out that weekend.

The bozo working the cashier station had a frenetic energy about him and clearly was new to the job. He had to bug an associate with various questions while I was waiting in line. At my turn I asked to add some stamp books to the order. Of course he didn’t know how to ring it up, how many stamps were in a book, or that he was supposed to actually put the stamps in my bag. I made it home before I realized he had forgotten to give me the stamp booklets.

No matter – I would pick them up on Monday when I went back to work. Yesterday I learned that all the Dominicks had closed permanently on Sunday. The day after I bought my stamps. The day before I was going to show up and get my paid-for stamps. Apparently Dominick’s stores were underperforming and the parent company, Safeway, pulled the plug. I had spent a tidy sum on invisible stamps. I’m going to try to call the credit card company and see if I can get a partial refund on my order. That will be a fun call, explaining that 77% of the charges were legitimate.

For over three hours yesterday I addressed and stuffed dozens of holiday cards. Earlier this month I tweeted out that once again I would be giving away cards to readers and I received a shitload of requests. Apparently there are a lot of lonely people reading this blog. Kidding.

I spend a lot of time designing the card each year, and I had come up with two gags stuffed into each envelope. Well, for just under a hundred of you, your cards are somewhere floating around in the Chicago dump.

I was at work when a sharp pain hit my stomach. It was 9:34am.

The message was clear – I had thrown the cards away in the dumpster of my condo complex.

Leaving for work this morning I grabbed two garbage bags to take with me downstairs. In addition, I had all of the holiday cards stuffed in one of the old-school brown-paper grocery bags. I also had a dog strapped to my back in a backpack. Somehow by the time I made it downstairs (four flights) I had forgotten that the bag in my left hand was for keepsies and the garbage bags in my right hand was for throw-awaysies. All went into the bin.

Now, don’t feel too bad for yourselves. Feel bad for me. Here’s why.

Not only did I have all the holiday cards in that grocery bag, but also my fourth quarter company taxes with forms (including an annual report and checks for the government). I have absolutely no idea what forms were included or the amounts paid. Next are all the thank-yous for gifts received, including one to my girlfriend’s parents. Last are three winning scratch-off tickets worth $34. I don’t play the lottery, but for a goof I bought some for Beth and I as stocking stuffers. I’m pretty sure there was at least one other important item in the bag, but damned if I remember.

Bottom line – nobody’s getting a card from me this year. I apologize. I even had put the extra cards in the bag just in case somebody came to mind that I had forgotten. My mom and dad, sister, and grandmother are not getting their card either. It’s all in the trash. The best I can do is show you what you would have received.

The first is the card itself.

holiday card 2013 front
Note the bottom says “Hugs, not drugs.”
holiday card 2013 back
That stoned dog at his own birthday party is perhaps the greatest photo ever captured.

But that’s not all – not by a damned sight! I also included a holiday letter, outlining the family’s accomplishments, moods, and disappointments of the year.

Not my family, of course. Some letter I found online.

From 2008.

I had printed one for each person, folded and stuffed it into each envelope along with the card. I was most excited about this joke. Even though my friends and family would instantly understand the gag, I assumed that many readers would be confused since they might not be aware I wasn’t raised a Lambson.

holiday family letter  I’m not sure what else to say – I’m as disappointed as you. I’ll know you’ll eventually heal and this memory will only slightly affect you ability to enjoy future holidays, but I’ll still feel a little responsible.

Oh, and apparently asparagus is good for hangovers, in case you’re wondering what to do on January first. Just steam up a batch between dry heaves.

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