December 30, 2005
All the Best...

Sadly, I have never gotten a card like this. In fact I would be tempted to make one myself.

We have reached the age when our holiday mail contains equal parts greeting cards and equal parts photo cards. To be specific, many of our friends and relatives now reflexively include photos of their children in their cards. In fact, a number of them have dispensed with the card altogether and just send us a picture of their children. This is a nice thought, particularly when we have seen the children sometime in recent memory (because then we stand a chance of recognizing them, instead of standing around puzzling 'Did the baby have that kind of nose?').

This phenomenon is interesting to me on a number of levels. It was not in vogue when I was growing up in the '70s and '80s. In fact, it was all my parents could do to get me to sit for a hideous school photograph once a year. Believe me, I am thankful that these photos were not copied and distributed to everyone we know at the holidays.

It will also be interesting to see what these parents will do when their children hit their teenage years and cease to be cherubic and have bad skin, weird haircuts, and possibly piercings or whatever the next generation has. It is my hope that when this happens, our friends and relations will not relapse back into greeting cards but will be moved to send us pictures of themselves. It doesn't have to be fancy; a fun vacation photo will do, or in the absence of a vacation, a photo of themselves with a favorite car, pet, or fruit basket could be fun. A way of saying "Hi, remember me? Still out here, still alive, still more or less the person I used to be."

In the meantime, there is still the problem of what to do with all of these pictures of other people's offspring. A friend has come up with a solution: mail them to someone else. Even if you don't have children. That would prompt some head scratching, or even a phone call or letter and, voila! A friendship revived.

Tips on how to avoid photo card flubs! This one is catchily titled "for God's sake, sit up and get your crotch out of the photo." Words to live by!

Posted at December 30, 2005 06:13 PM