Wednesday, December 22, 2010

My Christmas Nemesis

Let me tell you about my absolute least favorite activity for the holiday season. The Christmas card. It is, I kid you not, my personal nemesis.

In the 15 years that Jason and I have been married, I have attempted Christmas cards for 13. (No cards went out our first year together for multiple reasons; in 2001 we were both deployed.) I buy the cards every year. I address the cards. I fill out the cards. I put the cards in the envelopes. And then it all goes to poo. I think I have a success rate of around 45%. The problem is bad enough that I've worked it into my 101 goals list. (See #19.)

Some years I get the Christmas card picture taken. I think I even had them printed out one year. Another year I didn't get the pictures done but I did put stamps on the envelopes. And, because I am a freakin' genius, I always write the year up the upper right hand corner of the card--there's no using those cards the next year, in other words. But, more than 50% of the time, the cards don't go out!

My problem is, once again, that perfectionist streak. I want an actual Christmas card; not a photo card. I want personal messages in each card. I want a current picture of the kids in each card. I like to put confetti in the cards. (Yes, I'm one of those people.) And I love putting a sticker on the back of the envelope. If I can't get all those things done then I just don't want to send them out. I've talked about this tendency before. It is a serious problem for me and really affects all aspects of my life.

This year I threw caution to the wind. I ordered our cards from one of the online photo places. I decided that I just want to get them out. They came in yesterday afternoon and after the kids went to bed I sat down to address them. You want to know how imperfect these things really are? No personal letters; I didn't even sign them on the back. No confetti. (All my friends just sighed in relief. Ha ha!) Half of them have a scribble mark in the return address because I kept trying to put our address from Germany. (You know, the one we used for seven years!) I got at least three paper cuts while working on them but I just kept pressing forward, determined to get to the finish line.

I deserve a medal, I tell ya!

All kidding aside, this is kind of a big deal for me. I fully get how ridiculous these issues are. It's liberating for me to be able to put aside some of my neurotic tendencies and just git'er done! I'm kind of proud of myself in a sheepish, let's-try-not-to-get-too-full-of-ourselves kinda way.

What about you? Is there a holiday tradition that isn't exactly your favorite? And how particular about your cards are you?


  1. Mail in general is my kryptonite. I have issues mailing EVERYTHING. We have so many of the same quirks it's laughable. I'm also riddled immobile by my crazy visions of perfection. To the point where I do nothing instead of anything. It's become such a problem for me, it's what I'll be focusing on to improve this next year. Every step I take doesn't have to be a giant leap, baby steps will do just fine (at least that's what I keep telling myself ...)

    This was our first year for cards too, trust me when I say you made it much farther than me in years past. I had just accepted the fact we weren't going to be christmas card folks. Then this year, I had the chance to try out the card I sent you guys for free.

    I never even saw the card, it went straight from the factory to your house. I didn't even sign it. And you know what, I'm alright with that. I'm also thrilled that next year if I choose to do it again all the addresses will be saved and ready to go for me (loud cheering)

    Of course in the back of my mind ... I'd love to send one of those letters that let's you know what we've been up to all year. Jimmy would hate that sooooo much.

  2. For a few years I wrote a letter-- but now I do the photo card and forget about it. I mean, I get some cards that tell me about all the trips they took-- or all the illnesses they had... and I cringe. How does one tell about a year without whining or bragging?

    Actually, I do not enjoy Christmas shopping anymore. At all. I used to, but I had to do it all alone this year and that is not much fun. I want to be able to share the excitement with someone-- if I cannot do that then there is no excitement.

  3. Yep! I hear ya! I think I sent out 2 actual cards (one of which was to MIL with gift cards for x-mas) and I sent 2 more in the box of stuff for my mom. I am sooo not on schedule this year. Wondering where the me of Germany went where I had pics taken before Thanksgiving, ordered and received by Dec. And all sent out on time. Not this year! lol This year, I shall do better. Maybe. That's the plan anyway! lol Don't worry about it too much...don't they say it's the thought that counts? :)



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