Words to consider as we face another season of long lists and short tempers:
In the season of good will,
If you find you’re wishing ill
To those who help you to prepare,
It’s time to stop and get some air.
This year I dedicate this ditty with apologies to clerks at CVS and FedEx-Kinko’s.
The design and production of our Christmas greetings hit some snags this year. I might be on the naughty list of a few retailers, though I’ve tried to walk the line between charitable kindness and insistence on reasonable service. It’s taken years of experience to recognize that, when I catch myself about to wish someone harm, I need to take a breath and shut up, let up and, if needed, give up and do the job myself.
My husband and I often enjoy designing our own cards, though our creativity waxes and wanes with the years. One of our best featured a picture of our son in front of Italy’s leaning tower, with a caption reading “Pisa on Earth.” Another good one featured the son, after not having seen a barber in eight months, with the caption, “Hairy Christmas.”
One year, I took my design to Ritz Photo, which lost the order, botched the order, lost it again, and then pretty much banned me from the store. Eventually, I cancelled the order and channeled my anger into a new hand-made card:
‘Twas the month before Christmas
When the Welch family went
To order the greeting cards
They’ve traditionally sent.
They chose a cute photo
Of their 10-year-old son.
From a year’s worth of pictures
They chose the best one.
They went to Ritz Photo,
A reputable shop,
To make a photo greeting
But, oh, what a flop!
Surely Ritz can do photos
(Or so one would think)
Who’d have known that their service
To High Heaven would stink?
The incompetence displayed
By the photo shop staff
Got progressively worse
With each stupid gaffe
(They messed it up so many times, one should laugh!)
But it wasn’t so funny
For the Welches, this time
As they felt their patience vanish
And their anger level climb.
Back and forth to the lab
The Christmas greeting was sent
And back and forth and back and forth
Into oblivion it went.
The Welches gave up,
It just wasn’t worth
The stress in this season
Of the Christ Child’s birth.
So with help from their computer
And the angels above
They send you this hand-made
Christmas greeting with love.
Come to think of it, most of the Ritz Photo stores in our area have since closed.