No one wants a Christmas card about my single and childless life

Nov 25, 2016 at 2:00 p.m. ET
Image: Dan Brownsword/Getty

The other day, I had a bit of spare time on my hands and was feeling quite antsy. My sister asked: “Why don’t you write your Christmas cards?” I busted out laughing. “Single people without children don’t write Christmas cards.” I then went on to explain what said Christmas card might look like: Me by myself smiling at the camera. The letter?

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Dear So-and-So,

Here we are at the end of another year. I didn’t go on any vacations. I didn’t get married. I didn’t birth any children. Yep, just me and the cats still. And only two mice now because the oldest one died.

Merry Christmas!



I’m not even being snarky or bitter, I swear. I know my life is worthy and important, but it’s not Christmas card material. Before you protest, let’s think about this. These are the 'normal' Christmas card topics: 

  • Marriages
  • Vacations
  • Births
  • Moving/houses/DIY house stuff
  • Children’s achievements/sporting events

If you’re really lucky, you’ll get a bit of career information.

P.S. I’m still a freelance writer/editor.

When I was a kid, my mother had a giant felt envelope that hung from the pie tin cabinet next to the kitchen table. In the weeks before Christmas, the envelope would fill up with cards from elderly relatives and my parents’ long-lost friends.

The cards were pretty and made for fun décor, but I doubt they made it past Christmas day before going swiftly into the garbage. It wasn’t that we didn’t care, but who really keeps Christmas cards on display year-round or wants to store them in tubs in the basement forever? No one. Even as a child, I thought the cards and postage were a waste of money.

When I entered adulthood, I started getting Christmas cards from people my own age. It was a rite of passage that would only begin when the person got married. Then I’d get a card with a full-page, single-spaced, typed Christmas letter about the couple’s wedding, new home, fancy vacation(s), pregnancies, births, and jobs.

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Over time, the letters got shorter. Then the letters disappeared. The trend changed to fancy, template-type cards with just the family photo, a printed holiday greeting, and a hand-written signature.

Eventually, the hand-written signatures were replaced by “The Blondersons” in large, fancy fonts. Every trace of my actual friend would be gone. Just kids and a great print job. The end.

As a single and childless person, these types of cards are an annual holiday reminder of my societal failings. Look at all of these happy, smiling children! That’s what you’re supposed to be doing! Hurry up! Where is YOUR Christmas card?

Of course, somewhere out there is a Type-A single/childfree person sending out faboosh holiday cards to like 150 people. I tip my hat to you, but the last thing I want at this time of the year is pity from other people about my status in life.

Even if I’m not present, I would be able to feel the pity from afar. Oh look, Blondie sent us a Christmas card. Oh, that’s so sad –it’s just her. Or maybe: Oh dear, Blondie really has turned into the Crazy Cat Lady. She put her two cats in the picture! Of course there's always the simple judgement: Poor Blondie! She’s all alone!

I really don’t need that crap.

And I don’t care how many people say, “Oh, I would never say that! I’d think it was super cool if you sent out a Christmas card,” I call bullsh*t. You’d look at my card, compare it to your other cards or your own card, and pity me. It would happen. Especially if those fur babies were in there. Cats = enough said.

So if you don’t get a Christmas card from me, please know that it’s not because I don’t love you. It’s not because I don’t care. It’s simply because I’m avoiding the pity – from you and from me.

Originally published on BlogHer

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