I really do. I just hate them. Not all of them. I like most of them. I only hate one very specific type.
The greeting cards of the season come in many different categories.
There are either religious or secular cards and then there are themes.
* Christian – Merry Christmas
* Jewish – Happy Hanukkah
* politically correct – Happy Holidays
* nostalgic – think Currier and Ives
* rural – farm houses blanketed in snow
* cityscapes — think Rockefeller Center ice rink or Chicago skyline
* client – thank you for your business
* relationship – To Our Dad
* special circumstance – To Our Dad Across the Miles Whose Birthday is on Christmas Day
* foreign language – Joyeux Noël, ¡Feliz Navidad
* non-human – From Our Cat to Your Dog and Turtles
* humorous – drunken Santa and Reindeer
* musical – I’m Dreaming of a White Christmas
* record a greeting, “Sorry we can’t be with you, but we’re skiing in the Alps.”
* nature – mostly horses, dogs, cats and BIRDS
My cards always have a bird theme. Maybe a religious card with Angels and the Dove of Peace. Or, as this year’s card, a politically correct Snowy Owl supporting the National Wildlife Federation.
I HATE one specific kind of holiday greeting card with BIRDS — those that picture the beloved American Gold Finch in a winter scene.
Why? Well, just look at them and ask yourself, “What’s wrong with this picture?” You don’t know?! Almost always the gold finches pictured in winter holiday greeting cards are males in their summer plumage! December in gold finch territory finds the males dressed in their winter plumage looking like female goldfinches. They are drab olive, not bright yellow. They do not sport those cute little black caps in winter, either.
Okay, so non-birders can be forgiven. They don’t know better. They probably think the bright yellow birds migrate away in winter … but they don’t. It’s okay. People still mean well with these “wrong” cards.
Then again, today I got a postcard from my bird supply specialty store advertising “Holiday Bird Food” (and mentioning their special Christmas seed and suet products) picturing …. YES! …. a summer – plumage male gold finch munching on a penguin shape made of sunflower and safflower seed!!! Can you believe it?!
I need to stop in at the bird feed store to refill my thistle / niger seed supply.
Do you think I should ask them, “What’s wrong with this picture?”