Wednesday, November 12, 2008

WFMW--alternatives to Christmas cards

I have a confession to make, though it will be no surprise to a regular reader.. I am terrible at getting my Christmas cards done. I watch in awe as 150 of my friends and family are able to pull this off year after year while I struggle mightily to make it happen. Maybe it feels too much like the stuff-a-thons at work. Maybe it's too much for a perfectionist to get right. Maybe I'm just lazy (ding ding ding! we have a winner, folks!). But I struggle every year to do it.

This year, I got smarter, though. After years of ordering an 80/20 split of cards between Christmas and holiday greetings (we have a large contingent of a variety of non-Christian friends, most of whom would be patient with Christmas greetings, but perfectionist me hates the idea of offending anyone who is too kind to tell me that they are offended by my card), I ordered a photo card, with a winter themed background, and ordered New Year's cards. Later I learned my friend Shelley does the same thing (via her blog post). I already had tucked away her idea of sending Valentines instead of Christmas cards, as some years, if I start by Halloween, I might actually get something done by February 14. But this is almost better...with a cultural learning component to boot!) And, of course, Shannon's giveaway this week had some great links to New Year's cards as well so it must be catching on.

On the other end of the scale, our friend Beth, who one year knew she had a horrendously busy November and December coming, popped her boys in their Halloween costumes, and wrote her "holiday letter" then. Let's face it, who doesn't like getting a long chatty letter from a friend? So what if it's October and not December? And, one more reason to love Beth, she reminded anyone who thought she was "rushing the season" that she was really 10 months late since she hadn't sent cards at all the year before. (Sort of like my "Christmas in April" pictures last year, when, after three appointments in a row were blown off by my husband I gave up...then coming across the matching sweaters they never wore because I'd wanted to keep them clean for the photos, I threw the boys and the sweaters in to the car and went right to the mall for a photo shoot...which ended up being one of the best ever.)

And finally, I find myself delighted by friends who send e-cards instead of paper ones. No muss, no fuss, some lovely distraction, and still the warm wishes and happy thoughts of someone I love. I don't know that I'll go this route for my whole list, but it might be better than nothing...which is often what happens instead.

So, that's what's working for me as I think about getting ready for the holidays. What's working for you? Post it here at Rocks in my Dryer. Thanks, Shannon!


Michelle said...

this year I'm just doing a newsletter. Previous years I sent them with cards!

Debbie said...

I always feel so much pressure to do that photo Christmas card. I usually yell more at my kids during the taking of that than the rest of the year put together. Thanks for the alternatives!

Domestic Goddess said...

I almost always do a holiday newsletter with a photo in it. Mostly because I have a HUGE family, like 42 cousins huge. I did e-mail it to close friends and family members last year and it saved me 30 stamps. I plan on doing the same this year!