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  • Donald J. Bingle, Writer on Demand TM

Christmas Card, Oh Christmas Card!

Ho! Ho! Ho!

My dad was very organized, perhaps even compulsive, about sending Christmas cards. He kept a special list in a ledger with everyone's addresses. The master list had little boxes to checkmark when a card was sent and whether a card was received from such person each year. Not sure exactly what it took to get culled from the master list, but I'm sure the process was more efficient and brutal than culling lists for voter registration. And for many, many years, my parents' holiday greeting either consisted of, or was supplemented with, a long holiday missive about what was going on with the family. Mom was involved with those, even managing multi-color printing off of a mimeograph machine--you know, those things that preceded computers and home printers (whether daisy-wheel, inkjet, or laser). The Christmas card tradition in my family was so long, it approached geological time.

I have a confession to make. I don't send Christmas cards. I don't send "year-in-review" newsletters or glossy pictures with pre-printed signatures. Maybe it's because I'm lazy or cheap or because, as an introvert, I dislike small talk and don't want to engage in the postal equivalent. It's not that I never have sent cards--despite all appearances (and I do mean appearances), I have made some attempts to play the customary social interaction games expected in connection with furthering my career. Heck, one year when I was an officer at a large franchise food company I went so far as to send every other officer in the company a copy of the board game: Franchise Food (though I doubt any of them actually played it other than me). But, over the years, my holiday mailings became more limited and sporadic. At some point they stopped altogether.

Of course, the possibility exists that I was frightened away from doing it. You see, my friend, Jean Rabe, always sends Christmas cards. (She is really great at thank you cards, too.) And she always includes a handwritten personal note in every card she sends. Not a simple "Ho, Ho Ho!" or one-liner, but whole paragraphs of chattiness. That's awesome. But, trying to live up to such an example is intimidating--Jean is very prolific. That's scary enough, but there's even more to Jean's feelings about the subject. Something scarier.

What? Well, I don't want to say more, except that you can find out the answer by reading Jean's excellent mystery novel: The Dead of Winter.

You should all go out and buy it now.

If you do get Jean's book (or have previously gotten it), just let me know by email at before December 10, 2017), and I'll enter you into a drawing for a free e-copy of the next book in the series: The Dead of Night.

And, if you are looking for something to spice up your emailed Christmas Card greetings this year, I happen to be running a freebie promotion of my short, humorous, holiday tale: Season's Critiquings ( on Amazon/Kindle now through Monday, December 4. You can not only get it and read it for free, you have my permission to gift it to everyone on your compulsively maintained Christmas email list. If you like Season's Critiquings, you can pick up any or all of the continuing series: Merry Mark-Up (; Holiday Workshopping (; and Santa Clauses and Phrases ( Or you can get all four in the series by getting: The Christmas Carol Critique Collection (

By the way, like many authors, I have an Amazon link that gets me a tiny percentage when you use it to access Amazon for your book and other shopping needs. Click through and shop. For future use, click through and add it to your bookmarks to access again and again in the future. Costs you nothing; gets me something, whether you buy my books or Dan Brown's or a new toaster oven. Link here and bookmark for future use:

Please consider this my holiday greetings to all of you. Merry Christmas!


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