General Etiquette > Holidays

Xmas card--dad in basement

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My cousin and his wife separated a couple years ago. I don't know their current legal status or plans. Last year at this time, my cousin was living in an apartment on his own; I sent him a Christmas card, and I sent a separate one to the kids and their mom, who were still living in the family home.

A few months ago my cousin moved back into the family home and is living in the basement. I gather this was because he couldn't afford to have his own apartment (not necessarily indicating any reconciliation). And I'm wondering what to do about the Christmas card this year.

A couple years ago, when they were still together, I wrote "the Smith family" on the envelope. Then, inside the card, I wrote everyone's first name--"Bob, Betty, Sammy, Susie." I don't really write notes inside the cards so putting people's names on is how I personalize them.

Obviously this family has more to worry about than my Christmas card, but I would like to find a solution that would (likely) cause them the least awkwardness/discomfort possible. One card with all names? Two cards? One card with no names? Other things I haven't thought of yet?

I'd suggest two cards. Regardless of location, the family is still living separately.

I second the two card suggestion.

Furthering that, I would add the kids names to both cards. So, one to dad and kids, one to mom and kids.

Interesting, thanks for the suggestions. I had initially felt that the two-card solution was the most likely to highlight the family division (thus be the most awkward), so I'm glad for the perspectives otherwise.

I'd do two cards, but put the kids on both of them. That might help take the sting out of it.


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