I used to love writing out holiday cards. I used to design and make a lot of them by hand. It was pretty much the only thing I still liked about the holidays. But then my misanthropic tendencies got the better of me, and even my beloved holiday card ritual became an obligation I didn’t feel like doing.
Enter A.J. Now A.J. is, for all intents and purposes, much more traditional than I am when it comes to all things holiday. Thus brings me to our story.
Picture the scene: The Christmas tree is lit up and all decorated, and A.J. and I are sitting at our Ikea table in our dining room, filling out holiday cards and crossing names off our list. We had SO MANY names on our list that even A.J., the holiday traditionalist, found the task to be arduous. Compounding the frustration was the fact that I was taking too long on my stack. Aaaaaand ACTION!
A.J.: SERIOUSLY? You’re not even HALFWAY through?
ME: I’m writing as fast as I can.
A.J.: We’ve got like a MILLION of these things to get through.
ME: I’m going, I’m GOING!
A.J.: Stop writing so much.
ME: I want to make it PERSONALIZED.
A.J.: GAH! Just write, “Merry Christmas! Fuck you!” and leave it at that!
So I do the “Erica thing” where I narrow my eyes, cock my head to the side and smile, concealing my utter disdain for the moment.
I grabbed the nearest card and looked at the next name on my list. It was Dan. Dan was a friend of A.J.’s from his internship program. Dan LOVES Frank Sinatra and Johnny Carson with reckless and passionate abandon. Dan would be the victim of a domestic squabble, and he didn’t even know it.
I put pen to card and wrote:
Erica & A.J.
I put the card in the pre-addressed and pre-stamped envelope, licked it, gagged from the adhesive (that shit is GROSS!), and put it on the pile with the rest of the cards to be shipped to wherever our cards were going.
I don’t remember the exact timeline, but not too long after, A.J. received an email from Dan saying, “I got your card. Everything okay? It was probably the most unique holiday card I’ve ever received, though.” A.J. was confused until he scrolled down to see a photo of the card, and in prominent, Erica-curly handwriting, it said, “Merry Christmas! Fuck you!”
I could say it was a Ralph Cranston/Desi Arnaz/Fred Flinstone moment when A.J. shouted for me. I think he WANTED to be angry, but he knew it was too DAMNED FUNNY to be angry.
Later that year, Dan received a birthday card from us, but he told us he was disappointed a the lack of profanity. So now, every year, twice a year (Christmas and birthday), Dan receives a card saying, “Fuck you!” The “Fuck you!” is preceded by either a “Merry Christmas” or a “Happy Birthday!” depending on the time of year.
And that’s why you should never have me do your Christmas cards.
Happy Holidays! Fuck you!