I feel the need to apologize to everyone who didn’t get a Christmas card from us this year.
That would be all of you. Sorry.
It was all mapped out in my head and on the calendar. In my world, that’s a slam dunk.
My favorite part of Christmas is the cards. I love to receive them, thank you! And I love to send them. We may or may not get a tree. We may or may not get cookies made. The tinsel can get tossed any-ol-where. But addressing cards and sorting photos and buying pretty stamps are my cup of tea.
Can you believe there was a time when the kids were little and we made a family project of it? They hand decorated each card with a drawing or their name and we learned how to address an envelope correctly. Someone licked the stamps. Someone licked the envelopes. We used ink and rubber stampers to decorate the back. And drove to the post office.
Along the way, I learned the trick of using a damp sponge to seal the envelopes instead of the “lick em and stick em” routine. Even the stamps aren’t the licking kind anymore, thank goodness. Anyone else out there remember the joys of “tacky tongue”? Please tell me I’m not the only one. Please.
If I we had a very eventful year, I typed up a little insert. It was usually letting you know we had (once again) added onto the family or had (once again) added onto the house and everyone’s age, school doings, blah blah blah. Things a grandparent would want to know, but bore your single girlfriends to death.
The advent of the Costco photo greeting card was just in the nick of time. The older the kids got, the less they wanted to sit for an afternoon of card making. And I realized that I could order glossy cards pre-signed with everyone’s name and age. I could add a photo that was worth a thousand word newsletter!
Now they just had to pose for an afternoon of photo taking. There were haircuts and outfits and location scouting. There was bribery. There was begging. There was Kodak! There was the sun in their eyes. There was a bee in the grass. There was junior about to fall out of the tree before mommy could get into camera position.
Fast forward to the Christmas Card of 2012. There we all are, grouped together smiling in the den. Such a lovely family. Ha.
What you don’t know is that eldest son’s girlfriend was taking the photo, causing him to ruin the first ten shots with ridiculous faces. My arm is around youngest son’s waist: and squeezing. He’d better be taking this seriously if he knows what’s good for him. Both daughters are behind us, the only willing participants in the shot although half of the time one or the other of them are rolling their eyes at all the brotherly antics going on. Child number four wisely posed on the other side, far from my reach. The camera will show another dozen shots where he felt the need to only insert half of his head. Hubby’s smile is fixed between admonishing everyone else to smile. Our cheeks are starting to ache.
Out of some 30 shots, the one you got was the only one that worked.
When I asked the family to sit together for an impromptu photo this last Thanksgiving, they scattered faster than roaches when the light turns on. They wouldn’t sit all in the same room again until January.
My card tradition may take a necessary detour.
I realize not everyone does cards anymore. I have a brilliant artsy girlfriend who is a graphic designer, photographer and witty mommy. She emails a full color photo card/newsletter right to my inbox that knocks my socks off. Of course I’m jealous. She’s saving trees. But I have a hard time hanging it on the fridge.
There’s a good nine months to think this card crisis over. I’m considering everything from Photoshopping their heads onto some lined up bowling pins to candids of them asleep, drooling on their pillows.
“Visions of Sugarplums” I’ll call it. Oy vey.