Every year at Christmas, I display all of the Christmas cards I receive. Outwardly, I’m pretty casual about it. “Oh yeah, the cards? They do look nice, don’t they? Are there a lot? Oh, I hadn’t really noticed. You didn’t send any this year? That’s okay! Who needs a card when we can say Merry Christmas to each other!” But inside, I want the card. I need the card. Finding that sturdy envelope in red or green or decorated with some festive clipart among my boring other mail feels almost as good as eating a doughnut. I post them around the archway between the living and dining rooms so I can dance and twirl beneath them and feel popular loved. Also, so everyone who visits will see that I am popular loved.

My ex-mother-in-law used to display her cards, too. I was always envious of her heaps of cards until I found out that she was displaying cards from previous years along with new ones, which, clearly, is cheating. Dave says you can’t cheat at Christmas cards. I say Dave should shut up about things he doesn’t understand.

I label everyone I know as either card friendlies or hostiles. You may not remember if you sent me a card last year, but I do. And did I send you one? OF COURSE I DID.

One year, I got 73 cards. SEVENTY-THREE CARDS. That’s not even counting the unpostable Christmas letters. And it felt great. Until last year when I only got 16. Then it felt terrible, because I know I can get 73 cards but didn’t and therefore have fallen out of favor with at least 57 people to the extent that they now regard me as unworthy of a Christmas greeting. Probably even more people feel this way because I’ve met more people since my great year of yuletide abundance and yet my card count continues to decline. I must be an asshole. Or maybe it’s because I married Dave.

So far this year, I’ve received one card.

I haven’t hung it yet, because it’d look pathetic hanging up all by itself. What’s worse is that it isn’t even signed by a human being. It’s stamped. And it only came because I pay the sender every month for a service. Everyone who pays them gets a card. Technically, it’s not even for me because it isn’t my name that’s on the bill. It’s Dave’s. How fair is that?

Now I am faced with the real possiblity of not having enough cards to display, because we all know you need at least ten to justify hanging them and I’ll be honest, I’m tempted to cheat. Dave says even if I do, no one will care but me. So I just punched Dave in his cellulitis leg. He’s unconscious, but quiet. FINALLY.

Anyway, is it cheating to ask for Christmas cards? Probably. So, how about this? If you e-mail me your address (to admin [at] mymommysplace.com), I’ll send you a Christmas card with a return address on the envelope that you may or may not notice. Fa la la la la, la la la la!