Saturday, December 17, 2016

Real and Fake X-Mas Sentiments

We have finally got our Christmas cards DONE.

If you aren't getting one, do not I fear.  I love you so.   There are a core of people that Cookie and Husband send cards too.

And that would be the people who send cards to us.

That we like.

People from my hometown and longtime family friends.  This card thing started right after Thanksgiving.  Then they sat on the dining room table.  I would say to my husband "We really need to get on this...,"  and he would respond "OK...," then something would come up and the cards just sat.   This past week I finally had it and started on them.  They were mailed today.   Even though we use labels on the envelopes - because my hand writing is so bad - the notes inside are personalized to each person.

While I love getting the "The Family and Friends" letters they all seem a flat of the last couple years. When I read these I have a morbid fascination on how far people will take them, but with Facebook, people know you can check up on them so they hold back on the bragging and the imaginary accolades that they used to drop in, like:

"Last year Van earned a huge promotion, and a corner office.  To celebrate, we took our dream vacation to ..."

Now you can look up on Van's Facebook page and see that he is still stuck in a cube farm and hates his cube mates, and that vacation turned out to be a drive to Ohio to see the Blue Hole, or to Hayward, Wisconsin to see the Freshwater Fishing Hall of Fame.  All perfectly acceptable things to go and see.  But they aren't something that the normal person brags about, you know?

As a side note, Cookie has been to both places.  The Blue Hole, was what my Grandfather considered a vacation.  Everyone into the 1955 Buick Special and an hour and a half we passed under the stone arch and once our tickets were paid for we marched down the path with dozens of other people to look a hole in the ground filled with crystal clear, ice cold, blue water.  That was the Blue Hole.  Nothing more.  Simple pleasures.

The Freshwater Fishing Hall of Fame in upstate Wisconsin has things you can do.  Like go inside the gigantic fiberglas fish.  Up the stairs and you come to a balcony that looks out of the one fishes mouth.  And that's that.

Anyhow, Christmas cards seem to be the one tie that I have to the analog world, and as long as they make them, I will send them, with a personalized message.

Our picture of day is a faked Christmas image from the 1950s.  It's been fixed - when Cookie found it in its original state, the reds had been replaced with magenta and the blues had turned gray.  Blame it on that God damned Ektachrome film that Kodak pushed out after the War.  Unlike Kodachrome, which produced luscious colors, crisp lines and was very stable, the cheaper Ektachrome film was faster, cheaper and terribly unstable.

Overtime, the green dyes broke down leaving things PINK, MAGENTA and PURPLE.  If you know what you are doing, its snap to fix these images.  If you don't - like me - its an effort of playing around until you find something that works.

Besides the fact the image is posed, the snow on their laps is fake and there is no snow ground, which makes it hard for a sleigh to travel.  Actually the fake, wire posed "reigns" that the guy is holding are only about nine inches long.

What's ironic is that if you are a certain age, and your parents were from that generation, you remember these images.   And they do stand for something - a reminder to the Christmases the way we insist that they used to be, not the way they were.

Just like Christmas cards, I will believe in these images as long as I can.


  1. I'm with you on the cards, I love sending to a select few, and I'm not on Face Place, or whatever it's called. I too noticed the lady above has awfully big mittens, Or is that just me?

  2. They re-opened the Blue Hole! I'll have to check it out next trip. Incidentally, the original Castalia was a spring on Mount Parnassus, where the muses went, and when I needed a temporary email account, I chose, which I still have but don't use.

  3. If only I could post a card I just received from a relative.

    Everything that could possibly go wrong happened this year to her family. It included details of various maladies.

    I'm saving it for its complete lack of holiday cheer.

    1. Well, look at Cookie. 2016, politics aside, is the year of death. April, my Aunt. May, my mother in law. July, my childhood best friend's youngest brother. September, my brother. October, a beloved, former coworker. And then this past week, Zsa Zsa. Miserable, miserable year.

    2. 2016 sucked. For my relative, for you, and for your country in general.

      Just got word that same relative has been in a car accident but is doing okay.

      2017 can't come soon enough.

  4. Maddie: You know what they say...big mittens..........big hands.
    Happy Holidays to all!