I love getting Christmas cards. My favorites are those that have annual pictures of kids or pets that show a year’s worth of growth…….and my other favorites are those with glitter……and my other favorites are those with personalized notes inside…..and my other favorites……well, you get the point.
Growing up my brother and I would have an annual picture taken to be featured on the family Christmas cards. I remember watching my mom sit at the kitchen table addressing envelope after envelope. Christmas cards are as much a part of Christmas as ornaments in my childhood memories.
The first few years of our marriage, I thoughtfully picked through box after box of holiday cards to pick just the right one to send out to friends and family. E’s first Christmas we took picture after picture after picture to get the right family photo to feature on our cards.
And then life happened. One year it was Rick recovering from heart surgery. The next year it was a new job. The next year it was something else, then something else, then something else. At first, I felt guilty receiving all these sweet cards and not responding in kind. I would never want anyone to think I don’t appreciate or value those cards.
Now, that has passed. Nobody sends cards with a checklist to mark off those that return one. With each card I remove from the envelope, I “ooh” and “aah”. I display them and smile as I see them again and again. If you send me a card, rest assured I love it. And if you take the time to write one of those awesome letters updating me on all the year’s news of your family, I want you to know it makes me smile. I love keeping in touch this way. However, please don’t be offended when you don’t receive such a thing from me and my family.
Why don’t I send cards? As crazy as it sounds, I am paranoid of leaving someone off the list. I don’t want to hurt someone’s feelings and leave them feeling as though they are not “card worthy.” Laugh all you want at the ridiculousness of this statement, but feelings have been hurt by lesser things. Secondly, I love all of the special stuff that comes with Christmas. Choral concerts, church plays, Christmas movies and tv specials……I spend a crazy amount of time on this. Do I have to? No, but I choose to. As a family, we make a point to enjoy the season fully, and if I have to choose between addressing cards or going for a ride to look at Christmas lights, I’m choosing the lights. Additionally, it is always a crazy busy time as a teacher and my youngest son’s birthday falls between Thanksgiving and Christmas. To say we are busy would be grossly understated. But I totally choose it and embrace it.
One day perhaps I’ll go back to sending out Christmas cards, but for right now I’m going to enjoy each one I receive and make gingerbread houses instead.