Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Muggle Mailing Labels

File:Magic wand.gif
Cool gif courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Given that Christmas is only a week plus change from now, I decided it was do-or-die time to get out the Christmas cards. I’d done all the prep work—bought stamps, printed photo cards, and written the Christmas letter. (No small feat since I’ve got to get approval from three out of four adult kids. Fourth kid doesn’t care what I write. Bless his heart.)

With all that done, you’d think that most of the horrors were over. You’d be wrong. Because I have about fifty cards to send, it doesn’t make sense to address them by hand. I wanted to print them on labels. (Yeah, you see where this is going, don’t you?)

After a fortifying, over-large mug of coffee, I pulled up Excel and Word on my computer. Before I start, let me just say that I view all Word/Excel interactions with suspicion—they’re kind of like a get-together with obscure relatives who have borderline personality disorders and drink too much. You never quite know what they are going to say or do. So you steel your spine, put on your glasses, and say, “Give me your worst.” And they do.

I Googled the directions on label-making. And discovered, eventually, that I was using the directions for the wrong versions of Word and Excel. Crisis One resolved. Then I followed step-by-step directions for a Mail Merge using the Wizard. (What they don’t tell you is that this wizard is NOT Hogwarts educated. This wizard is educated by Muggles who don’t know that you have to say “LeviOsa,” not “LevioSa.”) I clicked the “Finish Labels” button, and my pages of labels were blank. Right. So unless they were written in disappearing/reappearing ink, this was useless to me.

Needless-to-say, I spent considerable time and emotional energy cajoling Excel and Word to be friends and make nice. Neither paid me heed. Thankfully, I haven’t pursued a career in diplomacy.

About the time I was ready to curse them with “Avada Kadavra,” my tech wizard appeared with his wand in hand. He clicked the screen, which no joke, told him what a Muggle I was and included words like “general default error.” Then he muttered an incantation and my labels appeared on the screen. I tell you the truth, a good Hogwarts’ education is worth its weight in gold.


  1. I bet it still did not have the correct address for Aunt Betty!

  2. And that is precisely why I still address all of our cards by hand. :)

    I hope you and your family have a wonderful Christmas, and all the best in the new year.

  3. I can't do labels. I've tried. I was able to do return address on my old printer, but not this one.

    Thanks for the blitz, and a very Merry Christmas to you and your family.