I’m not sending out Christmas cards this year. It just seems contrived at this point.
It has nothing to do with the fact that I finalized a divorce this year. I’m doing great. More than great, really.
The holidays aren’t stressing me out.
It just seems like every year I race to find the perfect family photo to send out to a long list of people I barely talk to anymore.
I stopped posing my photos years ago. Because posing kids and dogs together is mild torture.
I’ve pared my mailing list down the last couple of years. Because when do I even talk to most of these people? And how many even send me cards?
And then there’s that guilty feeling I get when I throw out all those pretty cards I do receive with cute photos of children and families straight into the trash in January.
Those photo cards aren’t cheap, though my blog provided my cards last year.
If I’ve learned anything this year it’s to appreciate the love I have all around me every day. While I try to give in some way every day, I’ve also become more deliberate about telling people what they mean to me. I have so much good in my life that I want to celebrate it every day.
Being mindful and stopping to smell the roses always sounds good in theory, but how often do we actually do it? Looking back at the photos from our summer (while making a calendar for 2015, a tradition I am continuing), my boys and I determined that it was pretty epic. We had some fun adventures, many of which were not planned ahead of time. Many involved later bedtimes than normal. Many were documented with selfies from my iPhone.
I think about the adventures I’ve had with friends new and old this year. The conversations I’ve had. Deep conversations. The tears and laughter. The times I’ve felt my heart was so full it would burst. Or when I felt emotion so deep I couldn’t help but cry. These are the things you can’t express with a photocard ordered online.
I’d rather spend time with and talk to those that are important in my life. I’d rather concentrate on meaningful interactions with people I care about rather than send a blanket message because it’s expected.
I donated the money I would have used to purchase the cards instead. As I’ve done in previous years, I’m concentrating on gifts for the kiddos in my life who call me Mom or Auntie. This makes the holiday season of “giving” much easier and more meaningful for me.
I write about simple ways to give back every day. If we truly appreciate the love we have around us every day, the holiday season wouldn’t seem so stressful and crazy.
Of course, I’m not going to judge you if you are sending out Christmas cards. This is simply a decision I made that felt right for me. I know people who get a lot of joy from sending out cards. And I do very much appreciate those that have taken the time to ask me for my new address so that they can send me a card.
Instead I’ll give you my own version of a holiday card right here. It’s a selfie from our epic summer. With a few festive embellishments.