Merry This. Happy That.

I give good card.IMG_0401

To heck with false modesty.

Every year, I’d turn the thinking cap to overdrive and come up a holiday card that was cool and original. Over the years I’ve done a pinwheel, a chocolate bar—the wrapper was family pictures–a card with tear-off tabs, and a word search. I once did a “talking card”. When you opened it, we all gave our Christmas wishes. At the end, the dog barked. I had to ring the doorbell to get him to bark on command for the recording.

“Once again,” David N. wrote a couple me years ago, “your card won top honors in my office Christmas Card competition.”

I appreciated the compliments. It was fun, but not sustainable. Over the last couple years I played with the idea of an origami card, but it felt forced.

Back in the day there was the husband’s office staff to help with logistics: the addressing, the trips to the post office. (Forget square envelopes, the post office soaks you to mail them. Forget dark colored envelopes, hard to see the ink.) Sealing wax is fun in theory, messy in practice.

A few of my favorite past cards.

A few of my favorite past cards.

So this year I’ve decided to try something radical…the downscaled Christmas greeting. Something easier, electronic,…well, something like this.

Thought about skipping it altogether, but I’ve had a lot of changes this year. And a friend reminded me, “if you skip a year, it will be even harder to gear up next year.”

So herewith the official holiday updates:

The divorce is finally final. The house in Colorado is gone. Ariel and her dog Molly are living with me now, while Ariel pursues on her master’s in computer science.  Jessamyn is happy living in San Francisco and, even more happily, a homeowner. She bought a sweet little house in Napa, two blocks from my mother’s ballet school. It was charming to begin with and more charming when she finished with it. I also did several really good trips, including the Grand Canyon, and to Sri Lanka with Room to Read to open a school in honor of my grandparents.

This here blog continues, with a daily readership approaching 1,000, and other writing projects beckon.FullSizeRender

On a daily basis, the biggest little changes in my life are Greta and Marlowe, the two spectacular Papillon puppies I brought home in July.

They are full brother and sister to Jessamyn’s Oliva. We are– as you can see—a dog-rich family. At Thanksgiving there were seven canines. Everyone got along really well.

People too.

IMG_5228Axel is still here. We call him the “super senior citizen.” He’s 17, he’s mostly blind, profoundly deaf, and severely arthritic, and has started having the occasional seizure. But he’s also sweet as ever. Thought he was a goner, didn’t even renew his license for the year, but here he is…

Wishing you and yours happy holidays.




PS. for the technology challenged among you…. click on the blue highlighted phrases and you’ll get to read more about those events…

About Karen Ray

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