Photo: Highlights Along the Way

So it is that time of year again; the holidays. I love the holidays – Christmas is my favorite. Here is the thing though, I am not sending you a Christmas card this year.  It’s not you, it’s me; or rather us. We just decided not to send out Christmas cards this year if it is all the same to you.

Sending out Christmas cards has never really been my favorite if I am being honest. Despite not really enjoying the task, I always sent out Christmas cards every holiday season. I asked for updated addresses, I picked out cute pictures, hunted down the best deal on cards, and got as many as I could stamped and on their way by mid December every year. I typically ordered more cards than our list required. Every year my sub par organizational skills manifested in the form of a Christmas card from a friend that we had accidentally forgotten on our original send out and I would hastily send one out that afternoon. 

Don’t get me wrong, I love my friends and family and I understand mail is fun and I mean, who doesn’t want a picture of my cute family with a fancy monogrammed ‘H’ on it? Rhetorical question, of course everyone wants that. Be that as it may, I am just not someone who relishes the idea of sending out Christmas cards and this year we are taking a break.

Last year we had the BEST excuse for dropping the ball in that we had just moved in mid November.  Not only had we just moved, we didn’t move into a ‘toothbrush ready’ house – we moved into a ‘fixer’  <– understatement of the universe my friends. Half our stuff was in boxes, we didn’t have flooring, we were trying to do fix it stuff with my parents during their off days, and on and on. I didn’t send out Christmas cards last year. I posted a cute picture on Facebook and I said “Sorry guys, we just moved so this is your Christmas card!” 

Here’s the crazy thing you guys…. the world continued to spin and we saved like $80.

Fast forward to this year – Our house is still knee deep in fixer projects, but much more stable. It would be easier this year than it was last year to carve out time to send out holiday cards, but I still am not going to send them out. I kinda feel like I need to plead my case for why I am not sending them out.  So here are my top three reasons why I decided to not send out Christmas cards this year.

1. Cost – We aren’t exactly loaded, we aren’t exactly broke either, but I just didn’t want to spend $50 on cards and then (scratch that 49 cents – what?!) a piece on stamps. When all is said and done we often spend about $100 on Christmas cards.  We made the decision to split $100 between a couple charities we really love. Harry made a digital card in photoshop (scroll down to the bottom to see it), we will email it out and we posted it on Facebook.  Tada. Done.  *writes two small tax deductible checks that make the world a better place.*

2. Time is Precious – So we are always complaining about how we need to slow down and enjoy the holiday season right?  We keep saying we need to edit our schedules so we can spend time with these kids that just keep getting bigger and this year we really did remove a lot of ‘un necessity’ so we could focus on what is really important to us during this season – Faith & Family. 

We shut down our kid’s crazy Christmas lists, we decided one Christmas parade and community tree lighting was enough, we turned down several holiday media events, we turned down a bunch of opportunity for toy and techy product reviews because I just didn’t want to be that busy. And here is the thing, I still think we are too busy. Between work, school, three kid’s schedules, and house projects we are just still very busy. I wish I was someone who loved to take an afternoon to sit down with a stack of cards, write personal notes on each, address, stamp, and drop in the mailbox, but I just am not; for me it just seemed like one more thing that I really ‘should’ do. I always feel good when I get them out, but if I am being honest; completely removing it from my list and sitting on my butt watching Elf with my family was way more fun. #sorrynotsorry

3. You already know what we have been doing all year – this is the nail in the coffin friends. Pretty much everyone on our Christmas card list is a friend on Facebook. I mean, other than a couple relatives that un-friended us, everyone on our list is getting a bunch of pictures and information in physical form that they already had in digital form. When we have made Christmas cards in the past we use our cutest photos of the year or a recent photo shoot which we obviously already shared on Facebook like weeks or months ago…… so I mean sending a card with those same pictures in a cute collage with a quaint saying on it to our friends and family seems a wee bit redundant.

Back in the day you would send Christmas cards to folks you may have had little to no contact with all year.  You would send updated photos and likely a short letter with a little update on your family.  With technology being as it is, I am pretty sure you know all of those updates and more.

Things I typically included in (or were included in other’s) Christmas card letters a few years ago:

  • Births, deaths, adoptions, separations
  • New pets
  • The vacation we went on (spoiler – it was Disneyland…. and it was fantastic)
  • The new job/loss of job/decision to stay at home
  • Sicknesses
  • Recovery from sickness
  • Kids’ hobbies, talents, awards
  • New home

… But you know all these things about us right? So I mean, we are good.

Now don’t get me wrong, I love the sentiment of a Christmas card. I really do.   actually love getting your Christmas card, but I won’t be offended if you don’t send me one. I’m not saying there won’t come a time where I will ask you all for your updated addresses and spend a cozy, quiet afternoon with a latte in one hand and a beautiful stack of cards in another. My kids are 8, 8, and 3 this year.   am living in this season with two kids that are very likely on their last leg with Santa and simultaneously just entering the understanding of Santa with the littlest. We have three kids in our house that fully embrace the magic of Christmas right now and I am not sure if we will have that next year. Christmas is much more for our family than Santa Claus and magical reindeer, but that is a part of it and I know the window of that is fleeting.

So for this year at least, know that the Christmas card we typically would have sent you is not coming. I hope you find solace in the fact that it isn’t you, it is us. I hope you love that this year we are taking a break and the money we would have spent on cards is being split between one of our favorite adoption charities and a new favorite breast cancer research charity (both in honor of friends and family). I hope you know we plan on devoting that time to snuggling our ‘getting more gigantic every day’ babies. I hope you know we love and we wish you all the blessings that Christmas brings, we wish your family health and happiness in the New Year, and just to sum it up – our year has been busy but fun and we feel incredibly blessed.