Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Burning Some Awards

I have a friend who burns Christmas cards.

Seriously, once the holidays are over, she gathers up the odd assortment of well wishes and photos of smiling children and tosses them, one by one, in the roaring blaze.

When she first told me about it, I was aghast. We had just sent out a really fantastic card featuring our daughters in some extra-cute pose.

“Surely you didn’t burn our card?” I exclaimed, but it turns out that it was nothing but ash now. My wife Anita wanted to permanently strike her from our Christmas card list.

I went so far as to Google the subject, curious to see if this was something rational people normally did. In Britain, there seems to have been a tradition that children used to burn their Christmas cards in the fire so they can float up the chimney with smoke and wind can be transported magically to the North Pole. Other than that, I couldn’t find much on the subject.

“Why do you burn Christmas cards?” I asked her.

“Because I don’t want them cluttering the place up,” she replied. “And I hate throwing them away.”

Apparently her and her family have created this little holiday tradition of looking at the cards for a moment, maybe commenting on the person or the card itself, then chunking it into the fire. When you stop and really think about it, it makes a certain amount of sense. It's actually kind of touching, in a bizarre sort of way.

I mention this because I recently was awarded two more bloggy-love badges just as I was getting ready to throw the ones I’ve already received into the fire. Tony at The Anti-Jared recently asked me why I have no blogroll on JSGF, and as Tony has an annoying habit of doing, he made me start thinking.

I thought it would clutter things up, like a bundle of Christmas cards. Plus, I’m constantly asked to put people’s sites on my blogroll, and I liked the simple response of “Sorry, I got no blogroll.”

But I realize that there’re few bloggers that receive any more blogroll love than I do, so I’m throwing my awards and badges… new and old… into the fire and cramming in a blogroll over there. I follow a bunch of blogs, and because I know how much people’s comments mean to me, I try my best to be an active and involved participant.

Anyway, here’s the latest blog bling to cross my doorway. Unfortunately, they came through at the exact same time and got morphed into one award. According to the rules of the Beautiful Happy Blogger 101 Award, I have to tell you seventeen things that secretly make me happy (in no particular order)…

  1. A British accent on a GPS navigation system
  2. Marvel comics from the 60’s
  3. Antique toys
  4. Buying electronics
  5. The last five minutes of a workout
  6. Jethro on The Beverly Hillbillies -- my all-time favorite line on TV was when the Clampetts were going to England and Jethro wanted to be a knight...

    “What’s your name?”
    “What’s your surname?”
    “Sir Jethro.”

  7. Feet in the ocean
  8. Made-up words
  9. Basketball… watching, playing, discussing
  10. The smell of curry simmering
  11. A well-turned phrase
  12. Giving good gifts
  13. Making my daughters laugh
  14. Getting a new laptop
  15. Being a super-fast typist
  16. Looking at our photo albums
  17. Having a good idea

Thanks to Phil, Lisa, Cactusfreek, Sarah, 266 (and anyone else I’m leaving out) for sending out the love.

Since I accidentaly jumbled up the award, I don’t feel quite right passing it on to anyone else, so I guess it’s just off into the fire with the rest it goes. However, I do encourage you to check out some (or all) of the fantastic folks on my low-calorie but very filling blogroll.



  1. I have to admit, I throw Christmas cards in the garbage...before Christmas. I get them, read the, say "oh that's cute" and immediately throw them in the trash. My bad.

    Congrats on the award!

    Last five minutes of a workout....the BEST thing evah....

  2. The blog awards are lovely, but can sometimes be a bit of a pain. I wonder how well the laptop will burn?

  3. Jack, I never comment here although I read your blog every day. The reason...you have so many comments! I didn't even think you read any of them. I mean, how could you. You are literally the rock star of the weight loss blog world.

    Since you just said that the comments mean a lot to you I shall start commenting here. They mean a lot to me too - when you post a comment on my blog I feel like wow, Jack actually read what I wrote. I'm so honored.

    Love the idea of burning Christmas cards and all those pics of everyone's kids (I know, I'm evil!). Best idea ever!

    I'm addicted to that Hoarders show and I've been getting rid of a lot of crap around here. Although we're no where like the poor folks on that show, I could certainly see that happening if I didn't toss junk all the time.

    You certainly deserve the Beautiful Blogger award. You make me laugh just about every single day!

  4. I throw my Christmas cards out, though I tend to keep the ones with photos on them. LOVE your list. My daughter got a GPS for Christmas and set it to a British accent.....and then named him Lamar ????? Shes a nut! lol

  5. Numbers 2, 4, 5, 7, 10, 12, 13, 14,(15 I wish but I suck at it), 16 & 17 all make me happy too, ESPECIALLY number 13. :)

  6. Oh, and I also throw Christmas cards out, but I keep the photo ones. I have a photo box and they all get thrown into it, but this post has reminded me about them, so I think I'll buy a photo album and put all of the past many years' Christmas photo cards into it to look at whenever I need a smile.

  7. I never burn or throw mine away...I keep them i a box...
    I'm a hoarder and think cards are special. I have cards my grandparents sent me and they not here anymore, I love seeing their handwriting...

  8. Burnin' the cards. Unusual, but interesting. Enjoyed how you've applied the same to blog awards. You're one of a kind Jack.

    My best always

  9. Can I be on your blogroll, too?

    Pretty please?

  10. You've always got a great way to spin things - I wish I thought of it! I've got to list about 50 things that make me happy and 34 obscure tidbits about myself - I could be here a while...

  11. I have no idea why, but I love seeing your blogroll. I thought mine was pretty extensive, but wow! Anywho. I like the card burining. If we had a real fireplace I'd try it next year.

  12. I'm gonna go light the fire pit in my back yard, what a great idea Jack :-)

  13. Ooo this reminds me I need to do a blogroll on my site since transferring to Wordpress!

  14. I guess you haven't heard about recycling in your neck of the woods. Paper--in a box--gets picked up--goes to a facility--gets made into something else. Crazy idea! Try it some time.

  15. I would throw them out, but my hubby rescues them and uses them as decorations for next year's christmas packages. What can I say? He's obsessed!

  16. My hubby always teases me about tossing the cards as soon as I've read them. I see I'm not the only one that does it. :)

    And I need to do some blog award housekeeping as well.

  17. I think you just may have started a new holiday tradition for many.

  18. I throw away the ones that just have Christmasy stuff on them.
    I don't throw away pics...I cut them out.
    I also save cards from people I think may be close to dying lol.
    I know that sounds silly.
    But In the year before my Grandmas death, she sent me a Christmas card....she had been in and out of the hospital and I had a feeling, so I kept it...it had a note from her on it.
    I threw my aunt dorothy's card away, she was young (57)...I went to london for a weekend in January, came home and found out she had died. I wanted that card with all those words back so badly. so I pay attention now. I would have cut the pictures out of your girls.
    Time goes fast.
    Nice post Jack.

  19. Your mind is a strange and wondrous entity, Jack. You never fail to amuse and delight me with your unique points of view on everything. Love the favorite line form the tv show - I'm going to bootleg the idea for my Friday Perfect 10 update for my unknown thing. Teaser: the quote is from Bart Simpson. Have a great day!

  20. I'm afraid I'm a card tosser. But burning them sounds so much more like a nice religious ritual that I might have to incorporate that. And who doesn't enjoy a good blaze?!

    I'm honored to have made it to your blogroll. :)

  21. I throw the cards out after Christmas and as far as the blog awards go I think my new rule will be.. anyone take it if u want it!!!

  22. I keep the really special cards (Craig would be very hurt if I threw his away!) and the ones for Twitchit as I want her to see them when she's old enough to read, but other than that, mine go in the Christmas card recycling bin at one of the local shops.

  23. This post reminds me that I need to do something with my Christmas cards tonight. They're still displayed though the other Christmas decorations have been put away since January 2.

    I think it's great that you have a blogroll because it's more reading for me. :) What can say? I'm self-centered like that.

    And as awards go, I can't recall ever posting the awards people send my way. And I suppose it's a little smug on my part. I think I'll do some digging tonight to find a few and acknowledge them before moving on. Good idea Jack...

    Note: I will not be burning anything in a burning blaze.

  24. Hey there! Thanks for all the recent love you have left on my blog. I can't wait for that waffle iron ;-)

  25. Christmas cards...I'm really bad at those!

  26. Congrats on the awards... I don't like to pass on awards either. I'm way too indecisive to pick just a few!

    I'm honored to be on your blogroll, too...

  27. Nice blogroll. You think I could be added on it?

  28. That's actually, I think, a really interesting to get rid of christmas cards. I hate throwing them away too.

    Anyways, You should add me too. ;)

    Congrast on the clean bill o'health.


  29. I throw ours out after Christmas. I feel bad about it but I'm very anti-clutter.

    Thanks for adding me to your blogroll!

  30. Burning Christmas cards...what a fabulous idea! I hate throwing them out, too, but I don't know what else to do with them after Christmas. I almost never give them out, myself.

    As for the award(s): Trust you to do things just that little bit differently!

  31. Burning Christmas cards... sounds like a good way to reduce clutter!

    Your list was great. I especially liked the last 5 minutes of a workout and the smell of curry simmering.


  32. love your list!!!!

    as for the cards..weird..but worth some thought!

  33. I keep mine and put them in a box... oh well...

    Thanks for letting me be a part of the Jack Pack :-) Love you man!

  34. OK...so I've seen your name on every blog roll, so I thought I'd check out your site.

    Thanks for the entertainment :)

  35. hey Jack! thanks for the blogroll love!! :) i just threw out all my christmas cards last night.. but cut the ones with photos down to size, and put them in a photo album.. :) I have to hide the thrown out cards from my hubs though.. he'd save them all.

    I just threw out all my blog awards yesterday too! I felt after being away for awhile, and being NY and all.. my page needed refreshing. I got this award too (from lovely Lisa) but haven't decided what to do with it yet... may save it for a day when I have nothing else to say. :)

  36. Yeah, I just throw Christmas cards away. I'm kind of glad that I don't receive very many because they just end up in the trash. Same with any other card I receive. I might keep it around for a few days, but ultimately it just clutters things up.

    That's quite a blogroll you have. Thanks for including my blogs on it. :)

  37. Such an interesting post!!! And loved your list, especially made up words!! It really tells a lot about you & how very "normal" you are.. NOT! :-)

    Like you, I have received this award & honored by it but I don't like to single out anyone cause they are all so great!

  38. Now that is an impressive blog roll. Wow!

    I hang all of our Christmas cards up until new years day and then I throw them away except for the ones my husband gets me, and I never throw photos away.

    Thanks for including me on your roll. :)

  39. I think burning the cards is a great idea. I try to live minimally (and I suck at it ... with fervor) and have taken to scanning and destroying all the paperwork, files, and other stuff. I even scan and save written letters but rarely keep the actual copies.

    I find the vast majority of greetings and Christmas cards I receive don't really have a whole lot of thought put into them ... and I much prefer to save the notes where people have really taken the time to write something substantial. If its good enough, I save it where I'll never lose it - on my computer and its infinite backups.

    but that's just me. Now I just need to build me a fire place. Burning them on the stove seems a little ... lonely and desperate.

  40. Thanks so much for including me on your blogroll! Entertaining post, as always. :)

  41. Yeah what is the warm fuzzy stuff anyway?

    I agree with you on number 7.

  42. I threw 5 yrs of cards away today in honor of you. I do tend to be a clutterbug.

    Like the new blogroll, lots of blogs I need to visit. I notice you left ou most of the guys? On purpose!!

  43. Jack thank you for adding my on your blog roll I'm totally honored. :)

    And by the way I may be demented but I kinda like the whole Christmas card burning thing. Makes perfect sense to me. Who in the hell wants those old cards hanging around anyway? Sounds a lot more fun than just throwing them in the trash...

  44. Burning Christmas cards? Interesting. I usually just use white out and then re-send them the next year. It saves a lot of money. And weeds out the true friends.

    Thanks for the blogroll love! Much appreciated.

  45. We recycle our Christmas cards, but take people's pictures off them first. I kind of like the idea of burning them though..it's like a little memorial service. Sort of. Only not. Nice to see you got yourself a blogroll at last. I love cruisin' other people's rolls and finding new blogs. That's how I found you!

  46. In the past we would take previously received Christmas cards and make gift tags out of them the following year. It was a great way to recycle...I love the burning idea...just something about fire that attracts me.

    Maybe its the firemen that show up when I accidently let one get out of hand. I don't have a problem...fire is my friend...

    Nice blogroll :O)

  47. I used to have the hots for Jethro lol

  48. Awwww, thanks for including me on the roll!

    I do save the photos from Christmas cards. And one year we made some fun ornaments from cards, so I've been saving them lately. Gotta stop hoarding crap. It's a bad habit.

  49. I love your blog list. I click on one person I've never read before, and they lead me to a couple other people I've never read before, and the next thing I know I'm reading about what it's like to be a single woman at a Turkish wedding in London. Which probably will not be something that occurs in my lifetime, but if it does now I'll be prepared. :)

  50. I stick my cards in the recycle bin cause it makes me feel all eco friendly warm & fuzzy (as opposed to just tossing them in the trash).
    I just wanted to say thank you for putting me on your blog roll. You are a real mensch.

  51. Hi Jack. I keep the cards from special people and eventually throw the rest away (into the recycling).

    Thanks for putting me on your blog roll, even though I don't deserve to be there!

    Bearfriend xx

  52. That card thing is very interesting. I've always thought that fire is very cleansing. I might have to do some burning ceremony of my own soon.

  53. Blogroll? more like a friggin Rolodex! hehehe :P



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