You say you don't know what a laptop lunch is? Well, let me tell ya...
You go to lunch with someone, but bring your laptop because the place you're going has Wi-Fi. It's excellent. And, unlike some lunches, there's no social pressure to fill all the time you'll be around the other people. Right now, I'm having a laptop lunch with my wife. I like to talk to her, so I'm not using the computer as an impetus for ignoring her.
WARNING: It's really only appropriate if all of you bring your laptop. Then, you can drift in and out of conversations, and you finally have a valid excuse for your short attention span.
Over this lunch (and all the interweb surfing), my wife and I are chatting about Christmas cards. And cards in general. We tend to think that e-mailing (or better yet, speaking in person) is better than wasting all the money, paper and energy picking out a card. Cards are alright sometimes, for sure, but, as a society, we're a little card happy.
Let me tell you how my position on cards made some people mad.
I'll just flat out say it, and then you'll think I'm terrible, and then we'll move on. Sound good? Good.
We had hundreds of people at our wedding. For all of those that helped, I made a point to personally thank each and everyone who came and/or helped. I mean really, in person, hand shaking and hugging, I thanked them. I did this because I knew that we probably would not send "thank you" cards, because I've never really been big on cards. I genuinely felt (and still do feel) that an in-person thank you means more. And, although I do send cards on occasion, I do so not out of duty or expectation, but because I really mean it. I don't have a Christmas card list for this very reason.
I do, however, love getting updates from families, who send those in place of cards. I like cards for monetary gifts, and, when I give them, they usually accompany a card. But, again, the impetus for the card is not social expectation, but a genuine expression of love and caring.
I do like playing cards, gift cards, being a card (that means being funny, for all of you under 40), and I'm mostly indifferent to Andrew Card, former White House chief of staff.
So, I payed a price for not sending "thank you" cards. Some people were upset, I found out later. I suppose you do suffer for not doing what society expects you to do. I suppose that you could make the case that this is how society communcates thanks, via cards. I understand, and from time to time, I'm sure I'll send a few. I do write them when I really want to thank someone, and I personalize them, by writing about the specific thing that I am thankful for.
I shall now tell you that I don't have any issues with getting cards (especially with gift cards for Best Buy in them), or other people sending cards. You might even get one from me. But, rest assured, if you do get one from me, I'll mean it.