For many years I wanted to be the family that sent out perfectly crafted Holiday cards. And every year I would disappoint myself by dropping the ball in one way or the other which always resulted in no cards being sent out.
My husband and I were married back in April of 2012, and I spent the first SEVEN years of marriage in the same cycle each year during the Holidays. The first part would be me making a vow for this to be the year that I sent out Holiday cards to our friends and families.
Next, it would be me either trying to take a picture, find a picture or book a photoshoot to get a picture that could be used for the perfect Holiday card. Sometimes this is where it ends I never find a picture so that dream is busted. It is in these times that I would relent and buy a box of those cute cards you find at the book stores for us to sign and mail instead.
Now if I have somehow found a picture I like the next step would be to price check getting cards printed and made and thinking “wow why is this so expensive! Ok maybe next week I’ll buy these” and I will repeat that phrase until it is a week or two before Christmas and I decide “maybe next year!” Or I have stared at the box of cute cards that I have purchased and tell myself next week I will buy stamps and fill these out. And again it will be the week before Christmas when I realize I am still staring at an unopened box of Holiday cards and I think to myself, “next year!”
Every year I would get a handful of cards from other family members and friends and immediately kick myself for not sticking to the plan!
I could tell myself that I am so busy that I should give myself a pass, but let’s be honest who isn’t busy these days? I could also realize that I have never been the card-sending type. I buy them and half of the time I forget to give them to people, even if it is simply handing them the card. I end up finding them months later tucked away in a drawer. I could probably find a way to force myself by sheer force of will to change this particular etiquette flaw, but after 37 years and the grand scheme of things, I feel like I have bigger habits to fry.
Back in 2019, I realized that this was just NOT going to be our thing. We were not going to be the family that mailed out the perfect or witty Holiday Cards. But what I could do was craft a really great Holiday image and text or email them out! And that is just what I have done for the last two years, and I feel like it is the best compromise!
I’m writing this not to tell you that you shouldn’t send cards, or that one way is better than the other. But that if you are struggling with this as I did for so many years it is ok to find a way that works best for you!
For us I can never seem to get my act together in time, so why spend so much time and emotional energy stressing over this small detail.
Another BIG issue is working the cost of cards into the budget, some years this can be a tricky subject. So I found a way that will be budget-friendly every year!
Over the last few years, I have found so much freedom in letting go of things that did not move me or our family forward. If it causes more stress and worries on top of what everyday life already brings then it may be time to evaluate and purge those ideas, traditions, or clutter.