Christmas Card-inal Rule #1

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Okay, I know I've been quiet, but I've been making Christmas cards.

It sure took me a long time to make Christmas cards, you say? Well, I bet it would've taken you just as long if YOU were hanging upside down.

Plus, I'm a forgetful procrastinator, and that's never a good combination of traits for one person to posse... Hang on. I'll finish this in a minute.

(An hour passes.)

Point taken?

Wait... what point again?

Okay, okay... just sort of kidding. Forgive me, I've only just now managed to get a hang of typing while hanging upside down. And as you can probably tell, the only thing that has been steadily draining through my ear canals is my brain.

Anyway, back to the time-consuming upside-down crafting of the Christmas cards.

Yes, I do indeed try to make cards - "try" being the operative word here. I'm not really any good at it, but it's something that I've been doing year after year for as long as I can remember. Besides, my family pretends to like it when they receive homemade cards from me, so I consider it part of my holiday duty and tradition to make cards and send it to all of my relatives.

One year, however, my homemade Christmas cards managed to cause quite a scandal within my family. And I didn't even draw my own likeness on it!

Oh, no... my unfortunate choice for cover art was considered to be a little bit worse than my face. Just a little bit, mind, but still...

Anyway, I'm getting ahead of myself.

So as I've already begun to tell you, my tradition of making cards began when I was but a wee pumpkin.

Okay, who am I trying to delude here? I was NEVER "wee."

I derived my 'artistic' inspiration for my Christmas card cover art from my immediate surroundings. And since I couldn't for the life of me manage to get the dogs to be cooperative Christmas card models with tinsel wrapped around their noses, or even get them to remain stationary long enough to actually become part of the holiday stationery (one would think that the possibility of infamy would be enticing enough for any canine, but alas), I had to look elsewhere.

And it was that continued quest for inspiration in our house that led me to the Chosen Object which ended up being the controversial cover art that year (it was circa 1983, in case you were wondering. I was about nine years old).

I found it in my one sister's bedroom (which was off-limits to me, but since she was away at boarding school I decided to risk it), and knew as soon as I laid eyes on it that I had found the object that was to be my 1983 Christmas card cover art.

I broke another one of the cardinal Laws of Intimidation Inflicted by Older Siblings when I proceeded to remove the festive-looking object from my sister's room.

Oh, what great lengths a wannabe artist will go to for inspiration!

Anyway, so I took the object to my room where I spent hours painstakingly drawing it onto folded card stock.

I usually gave the first card to my parents right after making it, but that year, in an attempt to up the surprise factor a bit, I decided to keep them in suspense. So I finished making all the other identical cards, sealed and addressed the envelopes and asked my mom to take me to the post office on her next trip into town. (We lived on a farm.)

It just so happened that she needed to buy something that same afternoon, so she drove me into town and I took great delight in feeding all the envelopes (and there were quite a few, for I sent homemade cards to all of my aunts and uncles and cousins and grandparents) through the slot of the post office mailbox.

When we got home later that day, I presented my mom with her and my dad's envelope.

She opened it with a huge smile and took the card from the envelope. She looked at it, and that's when her face went pale and then crimson.

"Is... is... How? Where did you find this picture?" My mother could hardly speak.

"I drew it, Mommy!" I said, very proud of the fact that a card made by me with my very own hands had evoked such emotion in my mom. It was plain to see that she was so moved, she was almost speechless!

"Is... Has... Is this the picture you drew on all of the cards? The cards that we mailed earlier today?"

"Yes, Mom. You know that I draw the same picture for everyone every year." I was growing impatient, because I didn't want her to ask me silly questions anymore. I was keenly awaiting her praise. It was time for her to make a fuss over the pretty picture I had drawn and for her to give it a special place among all the other Christmas cards that were already on display on the piano. It was my favourite part of our yearly ritual.

But my mom just stood there, as frozen as an ice sculpture. (Which is remarkable when you consider that Christmas in South Africa takes place during the scorching summer.)

At last she spoke again: "Where did you draw it from? Did you trace it?" Oy, still with the silly questions...

"It's a candle I found in Big Sister's room."

"Why didn't you draw an angel like last year?"

"Because that was LAST YEAR, Ma." I was REALLY getting impatient now. "Besides, I liked this better."

A candle on a Christmas card is a perfectly respectable picture, isn't it? It so beautifully and aptly convey the holiday message of hope and peace. Doesn't it?

My mom didn't think so. And, although the rest of the family's reaction to my Christmas card "art" never reached my ears, I suspect that my 1983 Christmas card never went on display in any of its recipients' homes.

After all, it never made it onto our piano with the rest of the cards. Of course I was very upset at first, but after discussing the matter at some length (but on a strictly need-to-know basis), I eventually conceded that my mom had a valid point:

No matter how festive you think it might be, a picture of a candle shaped like a grinning red devil with the words "Horny Little Devil" engraved onto its bulbous stomach in big yellow letters, really has no business of being on a Christmas card.


P.S. I never saw that satanic candle again. I later found out that my sis - who as a young teen was as oblivious to the meaning of the engraved pun as I was - had bought the candle for herself, because it matched the red decor of her room.

8 Comments

kellen said:

oh, i have such a filthy mind. i thought you'd drawn a dildo on the cards!

pylorns said:

LOL... where's my card? minus the dildo drawing btw

M said:

I have the same filthy mind as kellen! I thought it was a dildo too!

Merry Christmas!

deeleea said:

Hey there ...

Classic story... kept us in suspense right to the crucial moment!!!

To answer your question, Sth Africa man lasted through 2 dates...

Enough said

Have a Merry Christmas Red!

Jessica said:

OK I had the same dirty mind as all the others... but a little red devil candle is funny.

amy t. said:

You crack me up!

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is a South African girl living in South Africa. That doesn't sound very original, we know, but you might find it remotely interesting when you learn that she has only recently returned to South Africa for the first time after a nine year, one month and two week (non-stop!) stint in the United States where she accidentally became an outlawed alien (also known, especially in immigration circles, as an 'illegal immigrant.' We prefer the term 'outlawed alien' ourselves). During her reversed exile from her homeland, she kept herself occupied by winning this website (but only after shamelessly bribing the judges) and thus being unleashed on the web where she slowly, leisurely became the World's Laziest Blogger; by being a nanny and by attending sci-fi conventions in search of other aliens. In the US, she also made her sailing debut, her international acting debut, tried and failed to learn the piano, and never learned to cook. She is hopelessly addicted to coffee, dogs (especially Labrador Retrievers), how-to books (with a particular fondness for her copy of the Time/Life A - Z Medical Encyclopedia), and she tends to grossly overuse parentheses (we're not kidding) during her attempts at writing, which you may - if you really have masochistic tendencies - subject yourself to by reading the words to the right of this column. If you REALLY and truly STILL want to know more, you can read her C.V. here.
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comments
  • Terbinafine : Terbinafine Terbinafine http://lamisil-ki.healthandfitnessplan.comLamisil Lamisil http://lamisil-ki.... [go]
  • amy t. : You crack me up!... [go]
  • Jessica : OK I had the same dirty mind as all the others... but a little red devil candle is funny.... [go]
  • deeleea : Hey there ... Classic story... kept us in suspense right to the crucial moment!!! To answer your ... [go]
  • M : I have the same filthy mind as kellen! I thought it was a dildo too! Merry Christmas!... [go]
  • kimberly : LOL... [go]
  • pylorns : LOL... where's my card? minus the dildo drawing btw... [go]
  • kellen : oh, i have such a filthy mind. i thought you'd drawn a dildo on the cards!... [go]
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