Amazingly, I find it easier to choose a topic for my column than deciding what to write in Christmas cards. Thanks to the Internet there are many web pages devoted to suggesting what to write, but a lot of the suggestions are really corny, really long and likely to result in a case of carpel tunnel after just a few cards. And when there are 100 cards to sign – many for people you barely remember but whose name is still in the address book – the recipients are lucky to get a card that says, “Hi,” if anything at all.
This year I got lucky in that my girlfriend signed my name to most of her Christmas cards, which is fair since most of those are going to people I don’t even know. I signed exactly three cards: one for my best friends in Washington, one for my parents and one for my brother, each with a few appropriately witty sentences tailored to the recipients. By the time I was done with them, I was thoroughly exhausted and my brain sapped of all creativity. I hope they appreciate my effort.
In true male fashion, I have never sent a Christmas card on my own in my life. Anyone who has ever opened such a card and found my name on it did so courtesy of some female companion who made me do it. I think something in their DNA makes men unable to successfully select and mail any kind of greeting in card form. Think about it: How many times have you seen a man in a greeting card aisle at the store with a confused look on his face? At times like this, a man just wants to let out a loud howl, thump his chest, scratch his armpits and go back to swinging through trees. It’s just not in our blood.
If it were in my makeup to send cards, I’d send them to the people who truly make a difference in my life. There are the aforementioned friends and relatives, but there also are many others here locally and elsewhere who make my world spin. Specifically, all the news makers in Sparks and Washoe County.
So, if I were to send them cards, what would I write in them?
— To Sparks Mayor Geno Martini: Congratulations on re-election as mayor of East Reno. Now stop sticking out your tongue at Ron Schmitt. Nobody likes a sore winner. You two play nice.
— To Gov.-elect Brian Sandoval: All you wanted for Christmas was the governor’s mansion. Be careful what you wish for. Have fun with that.
— To Sen. Harry Reid: We all miss you here in Nevada, Grandpa Harry. Leave Washington, D.C., and come visit us some time. And we all know Santa visited you early: First, you got Sharron Angle as a white elephant gift but wrapped inside her with a pretty pink bow was the re-election you asked for.
— To Congress: All the children of soldiers ask that you bring their mommies and daddies home safe. Then do everything you can and should do to make life better here at home, whether or not your party likes it.
— To Heath Morrison, superintendent of the Washoe County School District: I hope Santa brings you high graduation rates, happy teachers, a balanced budget and many spreadsheets of student data that actually is useful for something. I’m sure he’ll also bring you a race car, a pony, a rocket ship and a billion trillion gazillion dollars. Christmas is full of miracles, you know.
— To local police: Thanks for all your hard work protecting us from bad guys this year. Sorry there is no money for guns or handcuffs or bullet-proof vests or additional staff this year, but you don’t mind answering phones and fighting crime, do you?
— To the economy: Quit being such a Grinch! Unless you change your attitude real quick, this is the last Christmas card you’ll ever get from me. Maybe that’s because there won’t be any more Christmases if this economy continues.
— To the old lady who hobbled into the Tribune office this week with a bag of children’s books for the Toys for Tots drive: What goes around comes around and your generosity and effort will surely be rewarded in heaven.
— To readers of the Sparks Tribune: Thank you for all for supporting our little hometown newspaper and tell your friends about us. We plan to only get better next year.
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to go check the mailbox to see if anyone sent me a card.
Nathan Orme is the editor of the Sparks Tribune. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.