Cardtastic Christmas

Posted By on December 25, 2007

I send Christmas cards. It started after college when we got free Christmas cards at the 49ers. And I figured “man, my family would LOVE to have a card full of football players! And it will cost me nothing!”

Then, back in 2003, while working a game late in the year, Dusty Baker showed up on the sidelines. Not really a weird thing, since Dusty was the manager for the Giants for many years. But after the 2002 season, months after the Giants won the world series, Dusty was hired by the Chicago Cubs to lead them to the promised land.

Enter KJ. Crazed Cubs fan. Enter 49ers team photographer. Who has known Dusty for many years. The end result?


This photo, with a shit-eating grin to end all shit-eating grins, led to maybe the dumbest idea I’ve ever had. “I should make this my Christmas card!”

And so it was.

Next year, in 2004, while out at Cubs game with my co-workers, drinking as many beers as I could get Kirk to buy me at Momo’s, I happened to look over across the bar and saw my most favorite Chicago Cub of all time, Mark Grace. And I flipped out. And thankfully Teri had ONE photo left on her disposable camera. And my second “KJ and sports celebrity” Christmas card was born.


(This was taken after I spilled beer ALL over my hand before I shook his. And before I passed out because I have NEVER been so nervous to meet someone and spontaneously make out with someone all at the same time. And believe me, the fact that his hand is AROUND MY NECK did not go unnoticed. I’m getting all fluttery just thinking about it.)

So then I was screwed in 2005. One, because about a month after I sent this card I got fired. And two, I didn’t run into any celebrities in 2005. So people were stuck with just a photo of me. In front of my new Chicago digs. I think this year I got the worst Christmas card reviews known to man.


In 2006, I was worried. Because people expected things from my cards. They sure as hell didn’t want another picture of me in front of the jungle that is the courtyard of my apartment.

Enter my friend Roger who used to work for the Bears. He asked me to work the Bears final preseason game of the 2006 season. (The one in which they went to the Super Bowl. Don’t for a second think that the two were unrelated.) I agreed because, well, they were playing the Cardinals so I could hang out with some of my buddies in the press box. And then it hit me. Bears preseason games are televised on the local NBC station. And none other than MIKE DITKA does the quite colorful commentary for Bears preseason games.

So my Christmas card was taken care of. And also, I almost passed out again. Because, dudes. It’s MIKE DITKA!


And then this is when it got out of hand. This is when my Christmas card list jumped over 100 people. And people were sending in requests to be added and NEVER TAKEN OFF my list. I felt a bit like Santa. And I have to judge who had been naughty and nice. Because for fuck’s sake, I am not made of money, and this gets expensive. Especially if the USPS keeps raising stamp prices.

I was ready to admit defeat in 2007. But then later in the year, my friend Sasha was coming to town for work. With the guy she works with quite frequently. And his name happens to be Jerry Rice. And right there I KNEW I had my card.

It was a good thing for two reasons. One, Jerry Rice got even more famous when he finished second on Dancing with the Stars. So not only sports people knew who he was. Two, since I knew him from our days with the Niners, it would be completely acceptable to ask him to “pose” in my Christmas card photo.

And of course, since he’s one of the nicest men ever (and quite handsome), he obliged. And so we have this year’s card.


I went overboard with the cheesy text this year.

I would have loved to send one to each and every one of you that read this blog. Because so many of you have been such great friends to me this year, even though most of us have never met in person. But I had to draw the limit at 140 cards. Because obviously you would have wanted to be included on future mailings as well. And this is why my list has gotten out of hand. And I of course love every minute of it. But there is always next year.

So Merry Christmas everyone! From Jerry Rice and yours truly!

About the author

Kristabella, who also answers to “Hey! Drunk Girl!”, is a reformed band geek with an amazing ability to drink most people under the table. You can read her inane ramblings here, where she talks about her exciting life as a spinster with two cats and a fascination for Bacon.


26 Responses to “Cardtastic Christmas”

  1. love the see-through shirt with ditka… and, nice rack!

  2. Jules says:

    First of all, these are AMAZING, and second of all; Jerry Rice=Hotttttttt. Love it!
    House of Jules

  3. kdiddy says:

    awesome. simply awesome.

  4. The Mouse says:

    Wah! Awesome cards!!

    And, as a die-hard Dancing with the Stars fan, I am *envious* of your Jerry Rice card.

    Merry Christmas!

  5. Mahnee says:

    Your cards are the best thing I EVER get in the mail! I honestly don’t know which one is my favorite.

  6. Katie says:

    Oh my god, you are equal parts hilarious and adorable! Those are the best Christmas cards I’ve ever seen! Merry Christmas to you!! 🙂

  7. Liz J says:

    Merry Christmas, KJ!

  8. hotfessional says:

    Dude! What a great card. Ex-cellent! Did you give him a nice little peck on the cheek?

  9. Closetmom says:

    okay, those are the best cards ever. so much pressure to keep it up each year!!! but what a fun challenge. Merry Christmas to you!

  10. Scarlet says:

    Holy shit. I’m super impressed. Way to go with Jerry Rice…even though I was super impressed with the Mike Ditka one!

  11. Marianne says:

    I really can’t tell you enough how awesome you are.


  12. Laurel says:

    OMG, I knew you were cool, but you are now, OFFICIALLY THE COOLEST PERSON I KNOW. Wow.

    (If you get desperate in 2008, I’d be happy to pose with you so you can say that you met “Laurel of Sass Attack FAME and FORTUNE.)

  13. Michelle says:

    Dusty kind of looks like a monkey in that picture.

  14. We can just save the picture and print it out, putting it on our fridges and saying you’re one of our closest friends and so is Jerry.

    (Or would that be weird?)

    Great tradition!

  15. Carri says:

    We get so excited to get your cards, and yes the pressure must be great for you but Damn their great!

    Merry Christmas, I sent none out this year. I was Bah humbugging christmas 2007.

    I’ll be better next year.

  16. Lori says:

    Already looking forward to 2008’s card!

  17. You do have the BEST cards ever! Holy crap girl, plus you can drink on the job…hehe well at least some of the time! Hope you had a fantastic Christmas!

  18. Nic says:

    Those are AWESOME.

  19. alyndabear says:

    Next year, I am totally requesting a Christmas card from you. I’m just giving you oh, 12 months warning, okay?

  20. Me, too. You rock and I want on the list… when your cards are THAT good, girl, ya gotta expand the list.

  21. noodle says:

    Awesome cards! I’ll just pretend you sent them to me too. Can’t wait to see next year’s!

  22. OMG, that is the best idea ever! I did a lapdance for Ditka at TMC in Houston about four years ago. No pics though : )

  23. Christina says:

    thank you for the timeline…I was wondering which order they all were in:)

  24. Sharma says:

    Sharma<—- on the list, and never ever disappointed! Diiiddka.

  25. K says:

    these are brilliant!

    Ks last blog – joy love family?

  26. The Jerry Rice one rules.

    Sarah, Goon Squad Sarahs last blog post..While Stuck in the Cell Phone Waiting Area at DCA