It seems like a lot of people have taken to Facebook to confess that they won't be sending out Christmas cards this year. My confession, and it won't be news to anyone, is that I have never sat down and written out and mailed Christmas cards. Oh, the good intentions are always there.
"This is the year that I will send something out," I tell myself. I buy the cards. Sometimes I even fill them in and address them. But even at that point, my plan to write out a letter to accompany them - or insert a photo - all those typical year end "this is what our family accomplished and this is what we look like" type letters are where I stop. For many years, I fell back on the excuse, "when it isn't just me... then I'll do it". I didn't think I should be sending out Christmas cards until there was news that was worth sending. Or I didn't know how to write about myself that didn't sound boastful - I went here or I did that. It seems better for those letters to be about your children and your family than about yourself. So went the self talk that kept me from sending out even a card in the mail that said Merry Christmas. That isn't my default response anymore. Now, it is time that typically gets in the way. The excuse that seems to trump all others. I mean, here it is the second week of December, and there are no decorations to enjoy, no baking in the freezer, no shopping and wrapped gifts ready to distribute.
So there it is. You may yet receive a card from me in person, but that is the extent of it. Unless some kind of miracle happens, (and I believe in miracles - so one day, it may!) it probably won't be this year.
I should have no expectation of receiving a card in the mail from any of you. But I do receive them. And I love it. Getting something personal in the mail is a treat! So thank you truly if you have continued to include me in your Christmas card list despite my negligence. And maybe one day, I'll have my act together and send something to you in return!
In the meantime, here is the picture I would have used for my card. It is a tiny artwork by my great grandmother, Elezebeth Grace Mulholland Toone. Merry Christmas to all of you!
Finally, here's one creative family's year end letter in the form of an adapted REM song.