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Challenge: Gratitude & Giving

I'm done with Christmas cards — forever

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I’m just going to come right out and say it: I’m done with Christmas cards. Like, forever.

I always thought of sending out cards with yuletide greetings as a rite of passage…

Things real grown-ups do:

  • Buy a house
  • Pay bills
  • Start a family
  • Send out Christmas cards featuring happy family every Dec. 1

I was excited to do it. From the moment my hubs and I became homeowners, I couldn’t wait to get started. Seriously – giant boxes of glittery, snowman-featuring, calligraphy-embossed, factory-produced Christmas cards were number one on my shopping list beginning in October.

So – many, MANY weeks early and armed with red and green gel pens and an address book (actual book, not digital), I proudly sat at our kitchen table for HOURS that year.

Everyone received a card from us. And I mean e-v-e-r-y-o-n-e. Parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, coworkers, neighbors, hairdressers, favorite grocery sales associates…And what’s more, I can totally still describe how those first cards looked (they read “Happy Christmas” because I was trying to make some sort of statement about being too cool for traditional holiday wishes, while also caring enough to send love).

Anyway..

The years passed and I continued to send out Christmas cards by the dozens.

And, our family grew.

We started having children, and so did our newly married friends and extended family.

The address book became thicker.

I stopped purchasing economy-sized boxes of greeting cards when I discovered photo cards. You could upload your pictures to a website, straight from your digital camera, and those pics would be featured on your very own one-of-a-kind holiday card. My mind – BLOWN. Hell yes, I was excited, and I broke the bank account hard that Christmas.

These days, those kinds of cards are still everyone’s jam.

But not mine. Nope. I am done.

I started thinking real hard about this decision after last year. About mid-November, my holiday anxiety kicked in, and with three kids (plus one on the way), we had already exceeded our budget. It very suddenly dawned on me one day: it’s November, and I haven’t even thought about ordering cards.

And honestly…that was that.

I didn’t give ordering cards one more single thought. I was just…done.

Here’s the thing: as we’ve grown older and our family has gotten larger, the hubs and I started valuing things a little differently. When we were younger, we shared our “smiling perfect family” photo cards with everyone and looked forward to receiving the same. It never felt commercial or braggy. It was just what everyone did; and, we merrily displayed every greeting received as part of our Christmas decor. Today, we’re just too busy with life to remember cards, and…in the happiest of ways.

Holiday anxiety. Oh, it’s still there. This year I’m worried about fitting Christmas PJs into the budget for a “Christmas Eve Pajama Party” we’ve been invited to, and the Magic Mixies toy our oldest daughter decided she’s just dying for two weeks before *the big night* (yeah, that thing is sold out everywhere). But, what the hubs and I have realized over years of decorating, shopping, wrapping, and flat-out losing our minds trying to do it all...we wouldn't rather spend our time any other way.

I’m happy to scour the internet and drive from store to store to store, if it means magic for our kids. And, we are blessed to have a big family with big, fun ideas to make our Christmas hectic. We have everything we need for the holidays and that just doesn’t include posing for family photos anymore.

And, we think that’s OK.

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