One of my very favorite things about Christmas is holiday cards. I absolutely love arriving home from work during December, and finding a stack of warm wishes instead of a stack of bills. I’m only slightly ashamed to admit I started sending holiday cards in college using my dogs picture. I know people generally reserve picture cards for their child rearing years, but holiday cards make me so giddy that I had to jump on the boat early. “In the old days” I did the kind where you had copies of a photo made, and then stuffed them into a card with a picture slot. The downside of those babies was that you had to go through and write a lengthy note in each one.
I just liked the personal touch of having the photo in a little frame on the front, and writing a real note on the inside. But gosh was it time intensive. I don’t exactly have a way with words (ironic since I have a blog) so I would spend 20 minutes debating the 2-3 sentences I needed to write for each card. Should I say Merry Christmas? Was this friend religious? What if they were atheists? Should I stick with Happy Holidays for everyone? Oh the agony of writing 3 politically correct sentences 100 times. For 6 years straight I got them out in a timely manner, but oh boy did I stress about them.
When Christmas of 2013 hit I knew something had to change. Violet was spewing up volcanic green
ash spit up every 30 seconds, there was a pile of laundry in my son’s closet that was taller than he was, and I was crying hourly at the thought of going back to work from maternity leave a few days after Christmas. Things were rough, and I decided to skip holiday cards completely. I mentioned this to my mother on the phone who understood but casually commented that I had never sent baby announcements, meaning my relatives fell into 3 categories: 1) Those who had never seen what the baby looked like. 2) Those who had never seen the baby and also didn’t know if it was a girl or boy and what it was named. 3) Those who didn’t know the baby existed. I hung up the phone and announced to myself (since I was alone in the room) “We’re doing Christmas cards! Right now!”
James and Mariyah were outside playing. Violet was laying in her bassinet. I picked Violet up, put her in a snow suit, grabbed my camera, and walked outside. I snapped 3 or 4 pictures before Violet spit up, and I deemed the pictures we had decent enough (all children were present + no one was screaming = perfect). I handed madame pukes a lot off to my husband to clean, uploaded our picture to Target’s website, and was told my order would be ready for pick up in an hour. Stopped by the post office and picked up stamps, stopped by Target and picked up the pictures (and a coffee), went home and printed the addresses, mailed everything out. Start to finish it was a 3 hour operation. If I made a list of my greatest triumphs in life, my speed and efficiency at mailing the 2013 cards would definitely be top 5.
I planned a repeat for this year and decided to step it up just a few small notches by putting the entire family in the picture, wearing holiday colors, and ensuring that each child had brushed their teeth. Simple right?
My father took the picture while we were visiting for Thanksgiving. As a tribute to last year, Violet had the pukes again (though she made it through our 5 minute photo session without heaving on anyone). Rob was crabby because he didn’t think Violet should be outside when she wasn’t feeling well. I forgot to bring my makeup bag on the trip, which meant nothing to hide those tired eyes. Mariyah snuck her slippers into the picture despite being told to put shoes on 3 times. And James was making silly faces in half the pictures which somehow my father who was photographing us failed to notice. The pickings were a bit slim.
But with the help of modern technology we were able to come up with something. Merry all the things from our family to yours!