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Happy Holidays
A case for personalizing greetings.

For most of th e year I’m more than happy with my decision not to have kids. But then the holidays come around and I want to send out cards and realize I can’t because somehow this has turned into a thing that only parents are allowed to do. It didn’t used to be this way. It used to be that people just sent regular cards and if they wanted to stick in a snapshot or some school portraits of their kids that was a perfectly fine option. But it wasn’t standard. It wasn’t de rigueur. It wasn’t the kind of thing where if your holiday card did not include a photo of your kids it would be relegated to the pile of impersonal, pre-printed cards sent by your insurance agent and your dentist and the place where you get your hair cut.

In recent years, holiday cards are all about photo cards showing the kids. And let’s face it, if you’re a childless couple and you send a photo card featuring multiple shots of the two of you walking on the beach or hiking in the woods or laughing with your heads thrown back, you have likely created something that looks like an advertisement for herpes medication. If you’re a single person and you send a version of this card, you look like you’re selling lowfat yogurt (that is, if you’re a woman; if you’re a man it would PROBABLY never occur to you to do this at all.)

Or you can do a card like this one, which I made last year but never actually sent. I figured it was the kind of thing that represented the line between dog people and dog people, and I didn’t need those kinds of italics in my life. But now that I’m seeing it again, I actually think it looks pretty good. Maybe next year I’ll make a calendar.

Happy holidays.

This article first appeared in The Bark,
Issue 76: Winter 2013
Meghan Daum is the author of Life Would Be Perfect If I Lived In That House, as well as the novel The Quality of Life Report. She also writes a weekly column for The Los Angeles Times. She lives in LA with her husband and their Sheepdog, Rex. meghandaum.com

Holiday cards provided by Minted

CommentsPost a Comment
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Submitted by Patty Aarons | December 28 2013 |

Our human babes are long out of the nest. For years, I have sent Christmas cards themed with images of our Bernese Mountain Dogs. I love working on getting THE image/images and have never had any complaints from recipients. I intend to continue my trend as long as Berners are a part of my life. :0)

Submitted by Audrey Lucero | March 18 2014 |

I had to laugh when I read “Happy Holidays” in the Winter 2013 issue about the author’s reluctance to send photo holiday cards featuring her dog. I am one of those proud dog people, and I have fun with my holiday cards. After all, I get to enjoy my adorable pups Dexter and Chloe everyday. The least I can do is give my loved ones the opportunity to hang a photo of them on their refrigerators as well!

Submitted by Bill, Wendy, Bo... | March 18 2014 |

My husband and I are “no kids, big dogs” people, and I have been sending out holiday cards featuring our handsome pups since the Christmas we got our first puppy. Yes, I have slowly accepted that we are “those kind of dog people,” and I’m okay with it. Our boys are our joy— what’s wrong with that? So, the cards have been going out for last eight years and our friends and family love them. I even make a calendar for my mother every year for Mother’s Day. She has taken her four-legged grand-pups in stride. So, I completely support the dog holiday card!

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