Yesterday's Dear Abby offers a plaintive story sent in by "BLUE AT CHRISTMAS," a maker:
DEAR ABBY: Five years ago, when my niece was 9, we came up with the idea of making Christmas cards and sending them out to special friends and family members. We both work hard to make sure each is attractive and in good taste, and we handwrite a personal note inside. We also print on the back that the card was "handmade with love." This has become a tradition for the two of us, and the cards are quite beautiful. Last year, after we sent them out, I received a card from a friend with a small check inside. The card read, "I'm sending you this check so you can afford to buy 'real cards' next year."
Further consultations with 'friends' revealed that they too thought she was a cheapskate, even though making them by hand actually incurred greater costs. Unfortunately, Abby's response is absolutely inadeqate! She recommends: "I hope you returned it and deleted her from your Christmas card list."
This will not do.
BLUE AT CHRISTMAS, the trick here is to respond to your friend's meanspirited ignorance with a Tsar Bomba of passive aggression. I have prepared a letter for you to mail to her in response, which should also be copied (by hand!) to any friends of yours similarly unimpressed by the beautiful handiwork produced by your niece and yourself.
This marks the extent of your own correspondence. On the separately-mailed and uncashed check, however, have the child respond with the following, in flesh crayola:
You may also buy your friend an appropriate cross stitch.
Honestly, I don't know why they keep Abby on.