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TIS' THE SEASON TO BE BITCHY
Halloween cards for the kids (hey, where's MINE?!) came in the mail yesterday from my mom, and since they were full of stickers, the kids were thrilled. Martin had a card with pumpkins and the stickers were the parts needed to make jack-o-lanterns out of them. Apparently, they've been talking about ghosts and goblins for 2 weeks at school, and now Martin is scared of the dark. He freaked out on a walk around the block a couple of nights ago with Anders and Karin, and Anders said he was literally shaking. This was WITH his father and sister, on a lighted street. Last night when after he went to bed, he called me and told me he was hearing scary noises in his room. We decided it must have been Anders, who was banging around in the laundry room. 10 minutes later he came and asked me if it was okay for him to turn on his overhead lamp in addition to his bedside one. :( They're having a spökfest on Friday at school, but he doesn't want to go, so Anders is picking him up early. We have 2 Halloween parties next week, and one of them involves real trick-or-treating, outside, in the dark, in a heavily wooded neighborhood, so I'm getting a little worried about his reaction.

Karin, on the other hand, can scare with the best of them. She's a wolf and a monster, when she dresses up (when she's not a policeman, racecar driver, or hockey player). Although, I couldn't help laughing yesterday, because HER stickers were teeny tiny ones meant to decorate fingernails and EARS. She went to sleep with "baby pumpkins" on her ears, and before bedtime, made me put a ribbon on her head to hold her hair off her ears so she could admire her "earrings" in the mirror. That's the first time in 4 years that kid has had a RIBBON in her hair.

I'm fighting off a headache at work at the moment, hampered by the fact that I only had one Advil left in my purse. I have to take another one immediately when I get home otherwise I won't be in any condition to go to choir. :( What I really want to do is go home and sleep, but I know no one wants to hear about that, haha.

I just thought about Christmas cards, and our annual Christmas letter that I've been sending out every year since we moved to Sweden. Last year, I vowed that I would no longer spend so much money on Christmas cards, and wouldn't send them anymore to the people who didn't send us one. That includes most of my friends and a great deal of family, at this point. It makes me really angry that people can't be bothered ONCE A YEAR to slap a card in the mail, at the very least. I had at least 2 friends who I haven't had Christmas cards from in years tell me I couldn't stop sending our Christmas letter because they so enjoyed getting and reading it every year (it has lots of pictures too).

Ahem.

My feeling is that friendship is a 2-way street. You can't be friends with someone who doesn't reciprocate. You can't have any kind of relationship with them, other than as a stalker, I suppose. And since I can't go out to lunch or dinner with the people I left behind in the States, or see them at parties, or talk to them in the hallway at work, or run into them on the street, my only options are letters, email and phone calls. Phone calls are impossible because of time zones and cost. No one, apparently, writes letters these days. Email is the greatest thing since sliced bread, but how many people bother?? And I have to admit that I'm guilty, too, even though I ALWAYS answer my emails. I'm not always as good about initiating them though, except with my mom, and lately my brother and sister. It's sad, that's what it is.

I put a lot of work into that damn Christmas letter. I don't think a Christmas card is too much to expect in return.
 busy
mood: busy
music: Dire Straits—Romeo and Juliet


Comments

I am so with you on that one!! I stopped last year. I send out to those who sent me cards last year and to any new friends I've acquired, but if they don't send me one they won't get one the following year either. It is a lot of work and it's a lot of money to send cards especially overseas. They don't seem to understand that for them it's the price of one card shipped overseas but for us we have to send lots and lots overseas. :/

When I was a kid, and all through high school and college, my grandpa made me write the christmas cards and address the envelopes for all the people _he_ wanted to send cards to. I swore to myself that I would just plain never send any christmas cards to anyone once I had my own life. Now I write all the christmas cards to all the people Lennart's been friends with his entire life, many of whom I've never met. I'm such a wuss.

Smiley face here, because it's not such a big deal anymore, since I never write anything but "God Jul & Gott nytt år!" on any of the cards to people I don't know. :) And sometimes I make Lennart address the envelopes, HAHA! :)

I've never been a big Christmas card sender. Last year, I don't think I sent out more than a small handful. This year, I'm going to make some, but not one for every person I've ever known or received a Christmas card from.

That said, I've run into something frequently since moving to Sweden: the impression that phoning or mailing something, even just a card, to Europe from the US costs an arm and a leg. Okay, if you're sending 5 kilos of stuff, yes, but not a Christmas card and not even a book. Or if you're phoning during business hours versus the weekend. But still this impression persists, or maybe it's just a pain in the ass because they can't slap a 34- or whatever-cent stamp on it like they can do with everyone else on their list, some of whom they've probably forgotten why they're there in the first place.

It's cheap to call the US, with Universal Telecomm. We use it and only pay ,54öre a minute. Our bills are never more than 250kr every month or so. I call daily.

I am only sending to close family and friends as that is what I get from back home. I stopped sending them to mailing lists I'm on in yahoogroups as it is too costly.

i do the same thing every christmas 'this year im not sending any to people who never send me one' errrg...it really gets my goat. sometimes it feels like just because i left the country some people literally think i dropped off the face of the earth and dont need any communication with them any longer.

well this year im really not going to send cards to everyone i know. there are some people (and most of them family for petes sake!) who have not sent me one piece of mail (snail or otherwise) since I moved here over 5 years ago! hmmph...why should I continue to send cards to them?!

haha...oops...went off on my own little rant there...sorry ;)

I can't stand christmas cards. It's just another thing that adds to the huge cost of christmas, that I never can afford properly and always feel bad and worried about.
And even if I had the money, I'd rather send people letters or cards whenever I feel like it, year around, not at christmas when there is so much going on anyway in most peoples lifes.
I don't think that you should give up friendships with people due to the fact that they don't send you a little card - there is a whole lot else to friendship for sure!!!

Anyway, speaking of being scared, my son has been like that since he was around 4 years old, one year he was going to have a ghost party for his birthday but two days before the actual party he decided against it - not because he was "scared" oooh no, but just because it would perhaps scare someone else i.e. me! *grin* He is turning 11 soon and he is still scared of the dark and we talk a lot about it...hopefully it will go away one day.

I'm not giving up the friendships, per se, but I never hear from most of these people (some of whom I was VERY close to) ever, not just at Christmas. :( I can only do so much to keep up my end of a friendship, but at some point, if you don't get any response, you have to start wondering why you're bothering.

Well, I'll add to the throng here.

I face much the same issue with my friends back home as well. Postage to Australia is very expensive and I try and send to good friends and family also. I choose cards I believe they will like and take the time to write a Christmas letter as well. Like you, I've had a mixed response. A couple answer with a card (no letter!), but mostly it's silence. Maybe because I've been away "too long" now, that they forget and can't be bothered. Even with email. A few friends never responded at all, so I stopped sending letters, only to have them ask "What's happened to you? We miss those letters".

I like to think it's a two way thing as well, but the reality is that often I have to do the hard work to keep in touch.

I agree, a Christmas card is not too much to ask at all.

(Anonymous)

It's the same thing here in the States- so not just because all of you are overseas. Nowadays, few people bother with Christmas cards- and even fewer write inside them. I, likewise am dropping the ones who continue to not reciprocate-except for a few elder relatives. SAw a box of cards designed to be used at New Year's - maybe those would get more of a response, but then again..... MOM

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