guess it'll have to be a 1000 words

It looks like this is yet another year when we won't be sending a photo holiday card. You know, the cheery picture-equals-all-the-words-not-written kind of glossy holiday card that I've been receiving from many of my friends in the past few years. I'd much rather get a photo card that just has a signature scribbled on it than a regular card that's just signed. Alas, I know that the days are long past when I could count on personal notes or letters tucked into the xmas cards. I still tend to write a few sentences at least in the cards I send -- it's one of the holiday rituals that I really enjoy. I like to receive cards, and I also like sending them. Although I've been kind of slack about it over the past couple of years, and so the number that I receive is slowly dwindling. Plus so many of us are email-only these days -- some friends I don't even have postal addresses for any more.

I like to give and get holiday cards. I've usually picked handsome arty cards or lefty environmental cards, always with the most secular message I could find.

I've never liked having my picture taken. I'm only recently a camera user & owner myself. I have very few pictures of myself past the age of ten -- I tend to close my eyes, double my chin, stare off vacantly, and generally ruin almost any picture I'm in.

So why, I wonder, have I been so interested in creating a photo card? About three years ago my gf and I managed to get ourselves and the two dogs lined up in front of the camera with its timer on, and got a semi-decent picture after several tries. It was too late in the year to actually print them and mail them (plus I was new to the whole digital photo printer thing), but I did send email holiday greetings with the picture.

That was the closest we've come. Every year we talk about taking a picture. The week before Thanksgiving, a friend was supposed to come to the park with us to get our picture -- we'd discovered that we were dressed kind of nicely that day, all by accident. But she didn't show up, the daylight was dwindling, and we had a guy we know from the park take a few pictures of us. We were so close. Unfortunately, the only pics that came out (he was a little shaky, and the dogs weren't exactly sitting precisely still) were taken from too far away -- they're not going to work for the photo card, and when cropped they're too low resolution.

And ever since Thanksgiving we've been too busy. So I think tomorrow I need to go to the bookstore and pick out some cards to send this year, without a picture. But considering that I hate the way I look in pictures, and that I don't usually want my picture taken, it is actually kind of strange that I've been wanting to do a photo card. I guess it has something to do with making my life real and visible to my long distance friends, some of whom have never met my partner or our dogs. Perhaps a kind of counterbalance to all the breeders & baby pictures that my mailbox fills up with.