“Off With Their Heads!”

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As I sat at the kitchen table about to hand address our Christmas cards, a few thoughts crossed my mind…

I feel like the left hand of God (I am left handed).

Each year, I alone decide which friend, family or foe (haha, not really) get a card from us. I look at the names listed on a little page in my Day Runner (old school style, baby!) and after a few years, some families just don’t get that little X next to their name. I figure that if they do not have the time to find matching outfits, hire a photographer, edit the best pics that describe their happy, perfect, smiling family, select a card design, order prints, compile all addresses, buy stamps, write a quick yet charming blurb on each card’s back, hand address each envelope in festive silver ink, seal envelopes and paste a holiday themed stamp in the upper right hand corner, and take directly to the post office to mail – well, maybe you hate Christmas, America, kittens and, therefore, do not deserve a Christmas card from our holiday-happy family.

Ah, I am just kidding. I do love sending out our cards. I do love finding photos from the year (praise GOD for Facebook!). I do love same day pickup from Walgreens. The cards, while not perfectly staged and perfectly designed on matte card stock, they are us. Happy, candid moments we were lucky enough to capture in a brief, golden moment.

But there were a few that I decided, after years of not receiving a card from them, that maybe, just maybe, they didn’t care about Christmas cards. And that is ok. If they don’t send them, then I won’t send them either. I don’t think they will even notice. Saves a little time and a little money on my side. Off the list. Done.

I feel a little sad.

As I go thru that list, some of those changes aren’t just because a family or two aren’t “into” Christmas cards. Some of the changes mean someone is no longer in our lives. We have been lucky to have great grandmas, great aunts and uncles and more, to send cards to – yet now, one great grandma’s name no longer gets an X – and it is sad to know she isn’t with us anymore. But those family members – near and far – are why I still do the photo cards. They love to see the kids’ pics and I love to see our year in one happy little 4” x 8” card. Makes everything in 2016 seem a-ok.

I then I feel a little panicked. Make it stop! Make it stop!

How quickly the year goes by. The kids look a little older (so do I. Ugh.). Their interests change. Vacations, awards, sports, highs and lows (oh boy, did we get some lows this year!) all captured simply by whipping out a phone and pressing a button. A whole year stored in that phone and on Facebook (still figuring out Instagram, sorry). So many memories…And after you think past the Christmas lists, the shopping, the decorating, the To Dos…this time of year allows for a little of bit of melancholy – those ghosts of Christmas past – those moments that you know – deep down – are over before you know it. A little sadness, a little panic, and a whole lot of gratefulness. And hope. The feeling of expectation – the excitement of Christmas morning, of a new year beginning. Another year to keep the iphone handy – ready for new memories.

So snap away!  Snap away! Post away all! And maybe send me a Christmas card next year. I’d enjoy that.

And Merry Christmas, you filthy animal!!

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