Thursday, December 18, 2008

Christmas Card Chaos

I'm looking for some discussion here. This is something I've always struggled with...
To send Christmas cards or not to send Christmas cards? That is the question.
Greeting cards are one of my biggest pet peeves. Basically, you're paying someone else to write a sentiment for you. Where's the heart in that? Will the recipients be happy that I spent that 2.5 minutes signing, addressing, and stamping a card for them? Come on, if we take the time to do this, shouldn't we at least be writing our own sentiment? And what about those millions of family picture holiday cards? They're pre-printed, just stick on a stamp and your done. So, that is where I'm coming from. On the other hand, I love getting all the cards, sentiment or no sentiment. Of course, the personal messages are so nice! Anyway, here's what I go through...

Every year by Dec. 1st., I receive my first Christmas card in the mail. This is when the trouble starts. I usually spend the next few days trying to decide if I should add that to my list of things to do during the holiday season. "Maybe I'll skip this year, I'm so busy, friends and family probably won't even notice."
My final decision is..."If I can get to it, then that's great, but if I don't, I won't stress about it. I'll just be sure to call everyone I know and wish them a Happy New Year personally." Yeah, Right! So, I start my Christmas decorating, shopping, event planning etc. and then all of the sudden, around Dec. 12th, I'm getting tons of cards in the mail. Guilt starts to set in and I am overtaken. At that very moment, I run up to the attic to look for leftover cards from years past, I get out my list and start to work. And I will make each of these 325 plus cards personal. My mind is reeling, because I know I don't have enough cards and I'll have to buy more stamps. This is when I go through my list and try to decide who might I be able to leave off this year. Yes, I really consider this! That's hopeless, because the very next day, guess what...I get a card from a person I've left off the list. Next is the mad dash to the store to buy more cards. I'm up until 1am, eyes burning, fingers cramping trying to make as much progress as I can.
The clock is ticking. Will these cards make it to the post office in time?
You see the torture I put myself through? Why can't I just get started in November like all the other organized Mommies?

Now go ahead, tell me what you think. Shame on me? Let it slide, Leah? Get your act together silly sparrow? Why worry? Join the club?


Ashley Griffin said...

i love doing cards every year. and i do the family pre printed card that i don't even have to personally sign. i love getting them too. i don't think that it says "i don't care enough about you to write or do something personal". what it says to me is "you mean enough to me that i am thinking about you at this time of year". because most of those people are not going to get a gift from me since i can't buy for everyone. but that is my way of showing them how special they are to me and that is the way i feel when someone sends me a card too. and i do leave people out sometimes. so i always order extra. and if i run out... i run out!

Joan said...

I have a system. I buy about 50 cards on sale after christmas. I take a family photo after Thanksgiving. I address the envelopes, buy stamps, and set aside. I write a letter about the events of the past year. Make copies on Christmas paper. I put a photo, a letter, and sign each card. Stick in mail. I try to have this done by Dec 1. or the first week of December. I keep a few extra handy just in case.

I only send about 50 cards so it's not that big of a deal for me. I keep all the envelopes from the cards I recieve and after Christmas I make a note of the ones recieved.

I'm just happy to get a card from some people. I even get cards after Christmas and I'm still happy to get them. I think it's the one thing were the thought does really count regardless of how much time was spent on each card.

Merry Christmas!

cjoy said...

This year, we skipped it because it was a budget cutter...
However, I've often been tempted to just send New Year's cards in January so I can save the stress of the Decembersomething deadline. :)

Of course if you want to save a TON of time and do it ALL preprinted - Snapfish will even mail them for you (okay, I did that for baby announcements) which I sent late anyway.

He And Me + 3 said...

I do a Christmas letter each year updating everyone on the happenings from the year. Like a year in review. We each get our own paragraph to summarize our happenings. it has worked out really nice each year. People now expect it. I do not sign the cards, just use labels and take pictures, put the cards together & the Christmas letter. I just love getting updated pictures of everyone & their kids. I don't care if it is signed or not. You have to do what you have time and money to do.