Today I made one of my favorite purchases of the holiday season… CHRISTMAS CARDS!
Since my son was born in 2012, I’ve loved being able to finally send beautiful cards with adorable family pictures on them. Pre-kids, it was usually a generic boxed Target card that got shipped out at the last minute.
Yes, those cards are perfectly fine. And no, I don’t judge when I receive them. AT ALL. But I was itching for years to have a gorgeous custom-made card to send, and it didn’t feel right to do it until we had a family.
Now that we do, it’s nothing short of a space shuttle launch to get these things ordered and out the door…
The photo session. The outfits. The proofs. The choosing of the best pictures. The site decision. (Shutterfly? Minted? Photo Affections? Mpix? Tiny Prints? Walmart???!!!) The coupon codes. The photo layouts. (Will people think I’m cheap if I don’t do the rounded corners?) The picture editing. THE COST. The waiting for them to arrive. The stamp-buying. (Loving the Charlie Brown ones this year. Nice, USPS!) The handwritten addresses. The trip to the post office. THE. END.
But to me, jumping through all these hoops is absolutely worth it. And as I placed my order today, I couldn’t help but feel like there were so many pros and cons to the whole process. For as much mumbling and complaining as I do in my head, I have just as many warm and fuzzy feelings that put this whole ordeal into perspective…
- Ordering and sending Christmas cards is time-consuming, but I’m so fortunate to have the time to sit down and do them.
- It’s probably unnecessary to have photos taken of our family or son each year for a card, but I’m lucky to know talented photographers who can capture people in such a beautiful way, and they’re photos I’ll treasure forever.
- It’s expensive, but I’m very fortunate we can afford such a trivial luxury.
- The quantity of cards I have to order every year gets higher and higher (I had to order 100 this year), but it’s a reminder of how lucky we are to have so many wonderful friends and family to send cards to.
Although (let’s face it) the cards are probably frivolous, the photos on them never truly represent the insanity that probably happens within the family when the camera is turned off, and we either throw them away or pack them up at the end of the year and do nothing with them even though we intend to, they are a blessing.
To me, they’re a way to keep in touch with people I rarely see, or those I look forward to seeing often. They’re an old-fashioned way to share the holiday spirit of love and family with each other. They’re a reminder to sit down and take the time to communicate with someone in a way that’s truly special (unlike the impersonal text messages we’re all used to). And they’re absolutely adored in our house when we receive them.
Growing up, my mom would tape each card we received to the back of a door in our kitchen. Today, I continue the tradition in our home. I think Dylan loves it as much as I do.
We pause and look at them all season long, and we share stories and laughs about the people in the pictures or the ones who signed the card. We marvel at how big the kids are getting or what a wonderful surprise it was to get a card from someone we haven’t seen for years. But more than anything, they’re a visible reminder of the many wonderful people we know and love.
So as I placed another massive card order today and happily anticipate/secretly dread making out all the cards, I thought about all the people I know and love who are doing the same thing as me right now. All the ones who have The Lubbers Family on their address list. All the ones who’ve worked hard to find the perfect card to send their greeting in. All the ones who will smile when they see my son’s giant grin as they pull our card out of the envelope. All the ones who’ll treasure this simple greeting as much as our family treasures theirs.
To me, it’s all worth it.
From my family to yours… 🙂