Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas, such as it is

It doesn't really feel like Christmas this year, even though I've been baking my ass off getting ready. I guess last year I looked at my financial situation and said, "So what, I'm buying gifts anyway!" Not this year.

My card this year reflects the bleakness that I'm feeling. I felt bad about sending it out, especially after I started to get really nice cards from friends everywhere, cards whose sentiments lifted the despair from me for a little while at least. But a lot of people who received the card have gotten a kick out of it, so I guess maybe I've brightened their days, too.

Naturally, there's a story behind this card.

The story is that when I tried to come up with a design for this year's card, I realized that my printer is all out of color ink. (The empty cartridge in my printer was installed 12/5/07 to print out last year's Christmas gifts, so it served its purpose well.) So I would have to come up with a black and white design, or bite the bullet and get a new (or refilled) cartridge.

I toyed with a few black-and-white designs, and then a thought hit me: what if I ran out of black ink while printing these? I decided then that the card would be spare, minimalistic, to an extreme degree. I had an idea what it would look like, and least the front of it, and I had to find an appropriate typewriter font. (This one is called CarbonType, though the lines on the inside of the card are in VTCorona.) A 12-point font looked better, but I opted for the smaller 10-point.

I was going to list holidays inside the card, but I did that in a previous year, so instead I listed a group of characteristics and time lengths that could apply. (Most people had all of the items checked, though for friends in bands I left the "Silent" line unchecked.)

The kicker is the last line. In previous years my friends and I have expressed confidence that the coming year could not possibly suck as badly as the one we had been though, but every time we had been proven wrong. So this year I only expressed this as a hope.

As Tiny Tim said in A Christmas Carol, "God bless us, every one."

Or, as The Comedian said to Dr. Manhattan in Watchmen, "God help us all."

Which, I suppose, is never a bad sentiment.


dee said...

To better days! Merry Christmas, my friend.

MaryRuth said...

What a creative idea! When life gives you lemons sort of thing...
Weird coincidence--I was just reading emails and my cousin's read: "Due to the bleak financial climate, we are not able to wish you a Merry Christmas this year".

Wishing you a Merry Christmas and all the best for 2009

cooper said...

A very appropriate card. I certainly hope you're right, Harold.

your pal, cooper

hedera said...

Many years ago, I incautiously made the comment, sometime in December, that things couldn't possibly get worse. They went downhill steadily for the next (I think) 2 years. I've learned not to say that.

Merry Christmas, my friend, also.

RMinNJ said...

The card was fine. Much better than the pictures of everyone's kids (even though I send them out) and much much better than those yearly brag letters. You know, the ones written by the author is the third person(ie Kate); "Kate enjoys spending time at home and not having to do anything.."

"Bill is thriving and Mary is flurishing.. and Sue is getting married and Joe contiunues his million dollar a year job."

And I'm glad to my kids made through this year alive... christmas stinks.