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DON'T SEND Christmas Cards!
Dwayne Francks - 22/12/99

Last week my good buddy Gord, from Edmonton, sent me a Xmas card and then yesterday he called me.

At first I felt a bit guilty that I never sent him a Xmas card. Actually I didn't send any cards this year, or last year, or the year before that. But think about it, what do people write in Xmas cards anyway? Things like, "Dear Rupert and family, Best wishes for the holidays,Love Athol." What a bunch of crap! Why do we feel that we HAVE to write anything inside that card? There's already a message printed in it!

Sending cards is hazardous. You get OOS from scribbling meaningless waffle, pancakes and syrup on a hundred cards then you spend hours trying to figure out how to use mail merge on your PC to print out address labels. That's a real personal touch!

That's what made me stop sending cards. Last minute deadlines. Is this the spirit of Christmas? The cheap cards go to the friends pile, the expensive cards go to clients and business customers. I'm not the only one, either. I can tell by the number of cheap cards I get that I'm just a good friend.

I hate being forced by the commercialism in this white horse sleigh to send cards. My creative mind instantly crashes into rejection mode. The project loses its FUN. It suddenly becomes a CHORE. And we all love doing chores, donít we!

Look at it this way. By the time you buy a card ($3 for a cheap one and over $6 for a good one), add the stamp, savour the taste of envelope glue, put in the time looking for a card, pay the parking fines, collect the screaming kids, battle the queues - then discover all the good cards are gone and you're left with a crappy little thing that says 'Ho ho ho', I'm ready to impale the next person who mentions Christmas to my electric aluminium tree! Put that in your guilt complex pipe and smoke it!

Are we CRAZY? Of course we are. We live in New Zealand, a country blessed with a company called Telecom. Set aside the grudges, ignore their bazillion dollar profits, and listen! Instead of sending really personal Xmas cards that convey your deepest thoughts in five words or less, pick up the phone and save a small fortune!

Forget Hallmark. It's time to introduce "Callmark"- $3 talk as long as you like anywhere in NZ. Three BUCKS! Reach out from the comfort of your own wireless phone or better yet, borrow your neighbour's phone!

Here's a great promo idea I came up with for Telecom.

Ring in the New Millennium. From midnight till sunrise on New Year's Eve, call anyone, anywhere in the world, talk to as many people as you like, and the most it will cost you is 2000 cents. We get the sun first. Shouldn't Kiwis be the first in the world (and in the world's history) to say hello to the world in a new millennium? Wake up your friends all over the world. There's a party going on!

Do it- there's still time- email Telecom and send them this message and request this promo! Tell them I sent you, I did!

I hope you are thinking of skiting in the New Year from the best location on earth. Here are a few examples of inconvenient calling times to your friends around the globe.

If you call at midnight:

The Queen- Interrupt her tea time at noon.
Clinton- Washington DC. 7am- Get him out of the shower.
Monica Lewinski- She's in the shower- leave a message at Bill's.
Gorbachev- Moscow 3pm. Be patient, he can't remember where the phone is!

If you call at sunrise:

Helen Clark- Wellington. 5am She'll be watching her video of the elections again.
Fidel Castro- Havana 10pm. At the Copacabana with a Cohiba in his gob.
Oprah Winfrey- Chicago 11pm. In makeup getting ready for the show.

Do I work for Telecom?

Nope- I just hate writing Xmas cards!

All right. So you just can't leave it alone. If you still feel you have to send something, send an email. Be sure to stop in at my website and have a look at my Xmas Basket. There's a whole collection of free funny holiday related images to download. Make someone laugh this season. I can help you there!

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