December 13, 2011

NYRA Holiday Cards – Fun Facts!

Filed under: Christmas Time!,NYRA Happenings — Katrina @ 8:35 pm

Today I’ve officially completed the sending of the 6th Annual NYRA Holiday Cards! Yay! Last year I sent 570 cards but this year it was back down to 480. No really reason except by the time I went to order more the price had been raised. Oh, well.

It’s teal with snowflakes and some pink gifts on either side of the Annual Meeting picture.

Like 2009, Alex was nowhere to be found with helping with recipients. Though maybe that’s not totally true, as what helped me the most this year was not only some he provided last year but the last two years’ Annual Reports, which he put together.

Anyway, having been doing this for six years now, there are some things that have changed and some that stay the same. So enjoy some fun facts!

-There were 90 cards in the first holiday card run in 2006. They were all sent on the same day.

-Daily batches of holiday cards are always a multiple of 30 because that’s how many labels there are on the Avery label sheets I use.

-Cards are sealed using a moist napkin and clear tape. So, don’t worry, my tongue goes nowhere near them!

-Since 2009, I’ve been stamping the envelopes with an ink stamp of six ornaments. Since the cards aren’t the “usual” card size, I wanted to give some more indication on the outside of the envelope that there’s a holiday card inside. My original plan was to get some little Christmas stickers, but realized with the number of cards I send, the ink stamp would be cheaper and accomplish the same.

-This year, like last year, the return labels were green and the address labels were red. Font was 12pt Trebuchet. In the past colors have been toggled and it used to be Verdana.

-The cards are stamped with the year’s holiday stamps. They were ornaments this year. In 2007, they were what looked like cross-stitched images of a tree, snowman, something else I don’t remember, and a teddy bear. The teddy bear annoyed me for some reason.

-Every holiday card except this year and last year had an evergreen tree on it somewhere. The 2006 design was all trees, no photo. 2007 had a snowy field with trees in the background. 2008 was a Christmas tree with holly. And in 2009, though the design was a snowflake, I’m holding a Christmas tree plate in the picture!

-Hal and Dave nixed my original design last year because it had holly on it and felt this made it “too Christian”. However, two years earlier, in 2008, the card had not only holly but a Christmas tree too, but no one said anything.

-The picture I took of myself last year holding the newly arrived box of holiday cards from the printer was used as my board candidate picture for NYRA’s election this past summer. I answered the tenth candidate question, the one asking me why I should be elected, with “Re-elect me and I’ll tell you what’s in the box…”.

-I almost always do all the label sticking and sealing when at work. I’ve gotten good at shoving everything out of sight with a split second’s notice when someone walks by. 😛

-In 2007, Alex not so subtly tried to steal the project from me. He kept urging me to “not worry” about labeling, sealing, and sending the cards myself, that he could have the two interns work on that. When I asked why he and the interns apparently have nothing better to do than the holiday cards I was already taking care of, he dropped the subject. He tried to do the same with the bumper stickers, even out and saying rather earnestly “but you can still pay for it, just let me make all the decisions”. Yeah.

-In 2006 and 2007, a couple board members urged me to enclose a letter with the cards explaining who we are. I refused and told them it was unnecessary anyway as I wasn’t sending to anyone who didn’t already know who we are, and because they wanted the letter to include a fundraising appeal, and I refuse to include holiday cards with a money ask as I feel it’d negate the “cheer” the cards are supposed to bring.

-The first few years, the recipient list had a lot of politicians on it, especially ones Alex Hull-Richter had worked with. Also those whose attention other board members wanted to get, though I’ve come to realize this means little. I spoke with a local politician recently, one who’d gotten our holiday card a few times before, but he had still no idea who we were. Nowadays I only include politicians with whom we’ve had some other direct interaction.

-A common reminder in my e-mails to the board about holiday cards is “Greetings, Not Ads!” As I mentioned above and previously, in the past, board members seemed to think cards were about advertising NYRA to those who don’t know us. I made clear that is not their purpose, that they are for people already with us to some degree.

Galen notoriously has holiday card issues in some years. He didn’t get the 2006 one until mid-January because it got lost en route somehow. Last year and the year before we thought the same thing happened, as he had not gotten it, but both times he discovered his wife had misplaced it.

-Alex and I are the only ones who appear on every holiday card that has a photo (all except 2006). Eric Goldstein appears in all of the group pictures (2008 and on) but wasn’t in the 2007 collage.

-This year, I might have enclosed with Scott Davidson’s card a piece of paper that said HOT CARL on it. And by “might have” I mean I totally did.

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