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Friday, December 30, 2011

Stuff Your Stocking Blogfest: Meg Benjamin

Card Bored

The first Christmas cards I did as a newlywed were handwritten. No kidding. I wrote a personal note on every one of those suckers, and I went on doing it for several years after that until kids and job got in the way.

That’s when I succumbed to the lure of the Christmas letter.I’ve been doing Christmas letters for a long time now, since the nineties at least. When I taught desktop publishing, I had access to super neat software and graphics, along with a high quality laser printer, so I could produce some pretty slick-looking letters. Now it’s not quite so easy, but I’m still stuck with doing them.

The problem is that I set the bar pretty high those first few years. I wanted to make up for the fact that I wasn’t writing the cards by hand anymore. So I set it up as a newspaper and I spent a lot of time trying to come up with witty ways of saying “Not much new here, what’s new with you?” along with unusual clip art that I’d scanned in at school.

For a while I even enjoyed doing it, but now, well, not so much.Given my choice, I admit I’d sort of like to skip the whole thing. Between email and cell phones, I’m a lot more in touch with friends and relations than I used to be. If I can’t skip the whole process altogether, I’d love to go digital too. But we have a number of elderly relatives who would be mortally offended if they didn’t get a physical Christmas card in the mail, complete with newsletter. And since I see some of them at Christmas time, I’d hear all about that mortal offense, believe me.So here I am, once again poised at the computer, trying to think of something halfway clever to say about the past year.

It’s not that 2011 wasn’t fun, it’s just that, well, it’s not much fun to write about. And I don’t do graphics anymore—instead I content myself with flashy type.Oh well, if nothing else, I’m helping the USPS pay down its deficit. And who knows, maybe some day I’ll be the one grumping about those young whippersnappers who never remember to send their Christmas cards on time. Only I’ll be checking my email, not trudging to the snail mail box in the snow.

About the Author: Meg Benjamin is the author of the Konigsburg series for Samhain Publishing. Book #3, Be My Baby, won a 2011 EPIC Award for Contemporary Romance. Book #4, Long Time Gone, received the Romantic Times Reviewers’ Choice Award for Indie Press Romance. Book #5, Brand New Me, was a Long and Short Reviews Best Book. Meg lives in Colorado with her DH and two rather large Maine coon kitties (well, partly Maine Coon anyway). Her Web site is You can follow her on Facebook (, and Twitter ( Meg loves to hear from readers—contact her at

Leave a comment to be entered into a drawing for Don't Forget Me, Meg's latest Konigsburg book.


flchen1 said...

Meg, I don't think I ever did handwritten notes on every single card... actually, I can't remember--maybe at one point I might have, but the list was shorter then! These days we do a photo card, and DH posts a holiday letter/update on our blog... I don't even always sign the cards anymore, which is sad! I did address each of them by hand--haven't made it as far as getting labels done ;)

Hoping your celebrating was merry and memorable, Meg, and wishing you every joy and success in the coming year!

f dot chen at comcast dot net

Na said...

I remember receiving handmade Christmas cards and they were a thing of beauty and to be collected. I haven't received those in awhile and they are missed. I can see the convenience and "going green" part of digital cards and letters but I'd like to think some occasions still calls for homemade cards or handwritten letters :) Whether digital or not, it's the thoughts that counts and is most meaningful.


Meg Benjamin said...

I admit I enjoy getting cards, but I don't put them up on the mantel anymore. Still, it somebody sent me a handmade card, I guarantee I'd cherish it!

Debby said...

I do like cards but like you writing notes did get in the way. I did not do a Christmas letter. I write shorter notes.
debby236 at gmail dot com

Teri Wilson, author said...

I handmade our cards one year - all 50 of them. They were cute little felt mittens hanging on a clothes lines with tiny wooden clothespins. Another year I made them with rubber stamps and glitter. I think I'm still cleaning up the glitter from that year. This year we sent our first photo card with a pic of the whole family...I know, a little odd considering our child is now 20 years old. What can I say? We're a little backwards that way. I do love getting cards from people, especially the ones with pictures.

Allison said...

Oh does your blog bring back memories. And a long list of names, which now have been wittled
down to practically nothing. Friends have drifted away or passed on, so there aren't many now and The Christmas letter, oh,
ya! The kids still work at the same jobs, have the same number of kids, etc. So what can you say?
Fancy fonts filled the page. I just gave away my secret, darn it!

Cathy M said...

I still make contact with a select few every Christmas and getting updates on their wee ones is great fun.

happy new year

caity_mack at yahoo dot com

shadow_kohler said...

wow! thats a lot of work. i cant say that im a christmas card person. i sent some one year...didnt care for it. signed cards the next and ended up tossing them. lol sending cards is too much work. thanks for sharing! happy new year!

VampedChik said...

I love doing hand written cards. Though I haven't been able to do them as much with the price of postage going up. I do always enjoy recieving them though. Thanks for sharing!

Jess said...

I like sending ecards. Thanks for the giveaway!

jcross719 at yahoo dot com