A card for the Carters
It is just a hundred years since America's fledgling Christmas card industry offered $2,000 in prizes for the best design of a Christmas card. A federal government source tells us this would be $18,807 today, and we wonder if it is too much to ask for a really good Christmas card. We are looking for such a card in case the Carters send us one of the 120,000 they are mailing out of a new First FAmily record. But seriously, although we're trying to cut down our list this year like everybody else, we feel like sending a card to the Carters even if they don't send one to us.
They may be Southerners, but we don't intend to choose one with the firecrackers that used to be part of Southern yuletides. Enough has been popping during the Carter years.
Rather, we'd like to take the Christmas advice published during the Eisenhower administration: "It's a nice touch to choose a greeting while keeping in mind the particular person for whom it is intended. And it certainly shows that the sender doesm put some thought and effort into the selections. . . . Perhaps you can congratulate somebody on a special achievement; recall a courtesy, or an enjoyable social event of the year."
On second thought, we can't find a card big enough to include all this in the Carter's case, and we couldn't mail it under the new postal regulations if we did. Carter policies and practices have had their critics, including us at times. But, if you sit down with an ounce of seasonal generosity and think of Carter presidency, there is much to offer congratulations on, many a White House courtesy to the American people, not to forget some enjoyable social events, whether with Horowitz at the piano or with jazz, New Orleans cooking, and the President singing "Salt Peanuts."
Merry Christmas you all!