I finished getting my Christmas cards done yesterday. I’m pretty happy about that. I’m a Card Shark–not in the cheating Vegas definition, but in the Christmas sense. I love receiving cards, and that means I must send them out with shark-like vigor.
When I was much younger (and full of energy and crafty creativity) I would spend a month making homemade cards. I’d plan out my design and then buy supplies and start handcrafting each one. This method took FOREVER…and by time I was done making 75 cards, I hated that design and almost hated Christmas (not really, but I hated cardmaking).
Then I went to buying cards, but still felt I had to put a creative touch to it, so I’d crochet snowflake ornaments to add to each one. Months of crocheting, and probably many people could have cared less about those handmade ornaments.
Age and wisdom taught me simplicity. I had to learn it to survive and not burn myself out trying to be Martha Stewart. Now, I’ve toned down my tastes. I no longer make homemade cards or an ornament to send with each card. But I still want to send out cards to people I only contact at this time of year (old college roommates, old neighbors, extended family members, etc) because I love hearing back from them.
So now I get a picture of my family–a low stress picture that I either take with the timer or have a friend snap–and then send it into Walmart’s Photo shop. I pick a cute Christmas card template, add a small message, and then order! They usually have my cards to me that same day (if I’m willing to drive down and pick them up at the local store).
I write up a short note to add with the photo card that tells a short synopsis of what our family has done that year (that’s the personalized part)…and then spend several hours addressing envelopes and stamping them. What used to take me over a month now takes me one evening. That is such a good feeling.
And even better is the feeling I get when Christmas cards start rolling in from all over the country. Pure JOY! I love seeing relatives and old friends and how their families are growing. It’s amazing! For example…here are my kids in Christmas 2005. See how cute and cuddly they were.
See what 7 years do though. They’re all bigger than me. What’s with that?
Seeing each new card with growing families makes me smile. I tape each card up to the dining room wall and feel loved as cards cover all the paint on my wall.
What about you? Are you a Christmas Card Shark? Do you send out Christmas cards? Have you ever gone insane trying to be Martha Stewart when you’re not? Do you enjoy getting cards, but find them a pain to send out? Are picture in cards preferred…or do you not care? And when it comes to the Christmas letter, do you like a novel, or a short synopsis?