S hocking my family members has been a past time of mine since I was born. My first Christmas as a wife and mom meant my first family holiday card.

We are a mix breed family; my husband is an atheist, but comes from an Orthodox family and I am a Catholic Jew that practices both when appropriate. Many of my more religious family members know this about me and have accepted my unconventional ideas. However, when I put my daughter on our Christmas themed card holding Christopher Hitchens’ book The Portable Atheist with the caption, “Will you just look at what my parents consider bed time stories!” I received frantic phone calls worried about my daughter’s welfare. For my Hanukkah card I featured my daughter flashing her red panties wishing everyone a little silliness for the holidays.

My cards have become so infamous I have already received cards from friends and relatives that can’t wait to see what I come up with next. I haven’t mailed all my cards because I haven’t received them from Shutterfly.com so they are a little late.

I have wrestled with card companies for the past three years. I was excited to be ahead of the game until I made the unfortunate decision to try new card company My Publisher that sold a Living Social coupon. When constructing the cards the image and choices kept changing when I proofed them. I called to find out why when I learned that I would have to pay separate shipping fees for every card and I make at least four every year. In the end their designs were not more clever and cost more to ship. The representative who was unhelpful and rude said that while their company is not more convenient, creative, or cost effective, they had better paper quality. I canceled the coupon and when back to Shutterfly.com.

The best bang for your buck is Vistaprint.com and I really appreciate that they save jpeg files of my past orders that I can download. The only drawback is that Vistaprint’s regular paper stock is not as nice as Shutterfly, which is a little more costly if you don’t use promo and coupon codes.

I ordered photo mugs this year from Shutterfly and they sent me an extra one and didn’t honor my discounts. I called expecting another face-off between me and a representative, but they actually fixed the charges and told me to keep the extra mug. I didn’t get the same treatment from Gap.com who argued with me to the point I almost went into labor. The tracking for a purchase claimed to have been delivered, but was not so I asked them to look into it. I had already discovered that they had delivered a package to an old address in Kentucky that had been deleted from my account so it was conceivable that there was another mistake made. Serves me right, I should buy my gifts from companies that support American manufacturing.

I hope I never have to call Customer Service again at least for the rest of the year. I have been getting super contractions in my big holiday turkey in my belly from trying to reason with telephone reps that turn conversations into a personal battle. I hate it when they say, “I wish there was something I could do, but it’s our policy to ignore reason and keep you on hold for half an hour for us to tell you this.”

Here are a few Crazy Christmas Cards I found online that tickled my beard.


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