Did your family send cards? Did your family display the ones they received? Do you still send Christmas cards? Do you have any cards from your ancestors? Tell us in the comments below or write your own story or blog post about this!
My mother had "the list" for Christmas cards. The list was THE LIST. If you were on it, you were in her good graces. If you were off, you were on the SH*TL*ST as she called it.
How could one get on the SH*TL*ST? Actually it was pretty easy. Anything could be cause. Forgetting to send our family one was immediate banishment. Didn't matter if your family had fallen on hard times and living in your car eating canned mush, you didn't send us a card, OFF The List. If you caused her some grievance, real or misconstrued, there might be some wavering as she judged the seriousness of the slight, and might cause you to be OFF The List and ON the SH*TL*ST. Once she put my cousin Timmy and his family off because Timmy tortured our dog when he was visiting (deserved, but he was punished and taught not to hurt animals - he was only 7 but the entire family was banished that year). A neighbor told another neighbor who told my mother that the first neighbor said that our lawn looked like "white trash" because it had dandelions in it (my mother was convinced those chemicals would give us cancer) - OFF The List! In another, her monthly bridge playing partner made a face rather than telling my mother that she didn't care much for her new hairstyle and it was close enough to the holidays to banish her OFF The List!
She maintained this list diligently. I think it was her revenge ball, her "points" list, whatever you wanted to call it - it was how she kept track of the rights and wrongs done to her over the year. Her own "who's been naughty and who's been nice" scorecard.
Once you were off The List, getting from the SH*TL*ST back on The List wasn't easy. First my mother's grievance had to be acknowledged. Then one had to grovel a bit. After that there was a stubborn period, but if one persisted, they could grudgingly get off the SH*TL*ST and back on to The List, but only for a trial period. Three strikes and one was stricken from the list forever, like her sister Betty who lives in Florida and had the audacity to tell my mother that keeping a list was petty and childish. They still don't speak to this day except through their own children. I'll pass on something to my cousins and they'll relay something back and I'll tell my mother. It's exhausting!!
The cards that do come in are always put on top the piano and displayed with great pride. My mother LOVES the ones with pictures in them, and gets really giddy about customized ones with embossing and engraving. A cheap boxed set of small cards will get relegated to the back and the big, fancy, custom ones with photos take center stage.
My mother cracks me up. I'll have to make sure we send a card so we don't end up on the SH*TL*ST!!