Christmas greetings based on status

By Kevin Wilson: CNJ staff writer

You’ve probably seen some TV show where somebody does something rude, and the response is, “You’re off the Christmas card list.”

Remember when that used to mean something? It seems like I don’t have a Christmas card list, and it’s very rare that my friends do either. I received one Christmas card this year, from my friend Rachael — wholly appropriate as her maiden name was Christmas (no joke).

Now known as Mrs. Tucker, Rachael reminds me of the holidays because we call each other EVERY holiday. Nothing makes you feel better than a voicemail that says, “I just called to say happy Groundhog Day and I love you.”

It was her card that made me think of the levels of Christmas communication, and how friends can be slotted by importance.

Level 1: The Christmas Call: This is reserved for the family and upper echelon of friends, because it shows they’re worth 10-30 minutes of your special day. Cell phone companies especially love this type of call because Christmas rarely falls on a weekend and people call outside of free night minute restrictions.

Level 2: The Christmas Card: This is reserved for good friends, because it shows you care enough to write down an address and buy some postage. It’s grown more meaningful in the last 10 years since nobody writes letters anymore (full disclosure: I love the U.S. Postal Service, and still try to support it by at least thrice annually buying a book of stamps and losing them in my car or apartment). The con is that nobody expects to get letters anymore. When I saw the letter, I thought to myself, “Is Rachael in trouble? Is this a ransom note?”

Level 3: The Christmas e-Mail: Not quite as personal as 1 or 2, but at least your friend acknowledges you still exist and have an e-mail address. The pro is you can send a bunch of photos pretty easily. The con is the recipient can just look at the e-mail header and see just how many other people are getting the exact same heartfelt message.

Level 4: The Christmas text message: The lowest form, easily. This says, “I acknowledge your existence, and that it’s Christmas.” No more, no less. The only real positive — and negative — is that you really find out who your friends are. Imagine my shame when I didn’t know who sent me a text, or when people texted me back, “Who is this?” Yeah, you didn’t think much of them by sending only a text, but they thought less of you by deleting your phone number months before.

Due to the timing of this column, you’re probably reading it on Dec. 26. So while it may be late for you to predetermine which friends go on which level, maybe I’ve got you caught up for next year.

And if it is Dec. 26 when you’re reading, I hope you’ll understand if I get going. You see, it’s my turn to call Rachael for Boxing Day.

Kevin Wilson is a columnist for Freedom New Mexico. He can be reached at 763-3431, ext. 313, or by e-mail: