I came home the other day to find a parcel from Heather Reisman in my mailbox. Ms. Reisman is President and CEO of the Coles - Indigo - Chapters bookstore chain. She'd sent me a lovely gift and a Christmas card. Apparently I've spent enough of my income on books to show up on her radar. (Can a note from Becky McKinnon of Timothy's Coffees be far behind?) Or maybe we swapped names, and I missed the email. Cripes... that would be bad. What if I drew Frank Stronach? What to get Frank? An ice-scraper?
Ah... the awkwardness of Christmas.
I picked up some packets of cards for class the other day. I like to have them available for learners who might like help figuring out how addressing works or how to word a Christmas greeting. I use the cards as well for family, friends and co-workers - which is either a good example of modeling literate behaviour, or a questionable example of doing personal errands during work hours.
I never know what to say in Christmas cards, and always end up saying the same thing: "Best wishes for the season" (which is about as empty a sentiment as possible, I fear). On the other hand, I love getting Christmas cards, no matter what they say (or how much I have to spend to get them). I read every single word and then stand or tape them up in some extremely visible spot at home.
Sending and getting cards is still socially important or something. I have no idea how old the tradition is.... Still, I've learned not to make too many assumptions about the whole affair.
One year, after handing out Christmas cards to my learners, a gentleman quietly asked me what he should do with it. "I don't know," I replied blithely. "What do you usually do with your Christmas card?"
He said, "Nothing. I never got a Christmas card before."