If you've known me for any amount of time, there's a good chance your name and address are written down in a little book. And on the back side of that page are numbers ranging from 95 to 09, each corresponding with a short note. "Restraining Order" or "Legal Disclosure" or "Reindeer Slide" or some such other cryptic remark. What does it mean?

Since high school I've been sending out Christmas Cards. The problem is that I don't like sappy, generic cards. They're just not me! So I go out of my way to try to find funny cards. It's harder than you would think! Sure, I could pay $4 each and buy individual cards, but I refuse to pay that much for a piece of cardstock with some printing. And, besides, if I was going to spend $4 on you, I'd like to think you'd prefer something a little neater than a card. So they have to be boxed, and they have to be a reasonable price.

I also send out over one box-worth of cards, and until recently, didn't quite send out two boxes worth. So I had to keep track and make sure I didn't send the leftovers out the next year to the same people (I think it did happen once, I am so sorry about that, I do really try!). And, obviously, I have to be completely sure I don't buy the same cards again! So my system of tracking what cards I sent out was born.

And even with the nifty cards, I still try to do something special every year. One year I made sure to write a long-ish personal note in each card. One year I wrote that every card should have a personal note, and that I'd enclosed some of our favorites (little paper-punched notes that, I'm sure, made a mess when people opened the card). I've added pictures, though never done the 'Christmas Letter'. In 2009 I sent out my 'Traditional Christmas Spaghetti" recipe (unless I knew you were a vegetarian) and thought about making the recipe a yearly thing... if I keep doing it. I admit to being tired of it some years. We will see.

For now, here is a gallery of cards past (click to see full card, will open in a separate window):

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