Normally by the first week of December, I have already finished writing my annual Christmas letter, have my Christmas card family photo taken AND even been to the post office to by stamps for addressed envelopes.
For many years, I made my own Christmas card. I made the first one 12 years ago when I had a 2 year old and 6-month old. In a moment of thrift and creativity, I decided it would be fun and cost-saving to make my own cards! I folded some cardstock in half and stamped some little angels on the bottom and glued on a picture of my little cherubs and mailed it off about 75 of them our family and friends with an always tongue-in-cheek letter about the varied happenings of Mathews family life over the last year. We loved them and Marc proudly extolled how clever my little creation and accompanying letter were. Over the next decade, our mailing list doubled and the card evolved into a hand-crafted masterpiece that took on a life of its own. I would stew for months (usually starting in late July) about the design, the colors, the stamps, the glitter until I ended up with a multi-layered, hand-colored, glittery embellished card with rivets, ribbon and twine. Don't even guess about what these little gems cost per card. And the family assembly line it took to produce -- oh my!
The last time I made one of these cards, my dearest spouse aknowledged its beauty and said if I ever make one of those cards again I should go ahead and contact a divorce atttorney. I don't know if he meant it, but I loved him enough to order a nice simple photo Christmas card on-line the next year which came right to my front door in a box. A few friends mentioned being disappointed not to see my hand-crafted creation, but I mentioned how much I value marital harmony. Oh Martha Stewart, your things are so pretty but at what cost!?!?
It's funny how something so fun and enjoyable grew nto a monsterpiece.
As I awoke this morning, I made a vow to pay attention to the rituals and pleasures that have lost their meaning and moved into chore and obsession. And, not just during the weeks preceeding Christmas when it's easy to lose sight of what's important in the midst of the frenetic present shopping, gift wrapping, cookie-baking, Nutcracking, party-hosting extravanganza that is often the holiday season, but hopefully all year long!
And, perhaps in the miracle of the season -- as I mentioned that we needed to take a picture for the annual card to Marc, he said, "what would you think about not sending a card this year?". I think I love you.
Lovely hand made Christmas Card you won't be getting this year from the Mathews, but not because we don't love you.