Well, I just finished digging through one of my closets, looking for Christmas cards. The turned out to be on the sewing table, right behind the sewing machine.
Some of my readers may be wondering why I have been searching high and low for Christmas cards. Some of you might be thinking that I am about to present you with a tutorial for extremely crafty cards made from junk I've stored in closets and behind sewing machines all year--some way to have a leaner, greener Christmas.
Sorry to disappoint. If you want Christmas cards like the ones I'm sending out this year, you have to follow these directions, listed below in Ten Easy Steps:
1. Find a family picture taken at some point in the past year, in which everyone is wearing a smile and there is a child or a Disney character (or both) in front of your stomach.
2. Download it onto a site like Shutterfly, Walmart Photo, Snapfish, Sam's Club, etc.
3. Pick a card template to go with your family picture. Add a cute Christmas greeting for your card recipients. DO NOT indicate what year it is anywhere in this message. (You will thank me for this later.)
4. Order the appropriate number of cards you will need for your list. Pay for them, and have them delivered to your house. Or, if you want to do it exactly as I would, at this point you would send your husband across town to pick them up.
5. Next, sit down and spend the next three days trying to compose a family newsletter. Write at least 15 drafts.
6. Become discouraged. Acknowledge that there is no way you can encapsulate the past year into a neat, one page, perky package along the lines of, "Well, 200_ has been quite a year for our family! A lot has happened!"
7. Cry a little bit.
8. Decide that you just don't want to send out a Christmas card this year.
9. Guiltily pack the cards up and stick them in a closet. Again, if you want to do this exactly as I would, it should be the closet where you store clothing that is out of season or waiting to be passed on to the next child. This way, several times a year when you need to get things out of said closet, the Christmas cards can fall onto your head or scatter themselves all over the floor of said closet. Doing so will allow you to feel guilty about not sending Christmas cards out at random times throughout the year. You will have the opportunity to pick up or move the cards during these times, and they should eventually end up behind your sewing machine sometime next December. (This is the most complicated of the ten steps. Just remember, you have an entire year to complete this one.)
10. Next year, early in December, remember that you have Christmas cards already printed out.....somewhere......you know they dropped on your head this fall when you were getting out jackets......they might work for this year as long as they don't have a year on them. Find them behind your sewing machine--sans year!--and voila! Your Christmas cards are done!
Here is the picture I used last year. Still good! Notice how Justone and Mickey are carefully posed to hide my stomach. I told you it was easy!
Obviously, it wasn't my intention last year to do things this way. It was the whole family newsletter thing. I know they aren't necessary, but I have to use my English degree somehow. I spend a lot of time composing our family newsletter. More time than anyone spends reading it, but at least I feel as I have put my degree to good use by the time I've dropped the cards and accompanying newsliterature into the mailbox.
But like I said, 2008 was a tough year for newsletters. After all, we'd been through a lot. Li'l Angel had spent many days in the hospital last year, and died in August. In October, we found out that it was time for Superkid to have heart surgery again. The surgery was scheduled for December, and the Make-a-Wish foundation sent us to Disney World in November. We definitely had news.....but how exactly was I supposed to share it? After all, the majority of the people on our card list had been there and done that right along with us. The minority didn't have any idea, since we only correspond via Christmas cards, and how, exactly, is one supposed to tell them?
Merry Christmas! 2008 has been a busy year for our family. Bet you would never guess that all in one year our neighborhood flooded, our baby died, we went to Disney World, and Superkid is recovering from open heart surgery!
See what I mean? It's really a recipe for writer's block.
I am determined, however, that this year we shall send out Christmas cards. With or without a newsletter.
For those of you who have not yet thought about your Christmas cards this year, you are in luck! Jen, over at Tatertots and Jello, is hosting a Christmas card giveaway! She has discovered a great little Etsy shop called Dimple Prints. Dimple Prints has such darling custom digital card designs. You tell them what you want, and they send you a file with your own cute design that you can then print out anywhere! (I reiterate, if you want to do things the way I would, don't include what year it is anywhere on your design. Print them out at Sam's Club and send your husband out to get them.) Go enjoy Jen's blog, leave her a comment about this giveaway, and you could win a free custom card design from Dimple Prints!
You could have something like this
or--my personal favorite--this.
Just remember, I do not advocate sticking a date on your cards. So limiting. I do however, recommend printing out next year's Christmas cards this year. It certainly has been nice to already have something crossed off my list, this year! Go ahead, visit Dimple Prints and think about next Christmas (you won't have to complete step #3 if you do it this way--what a timesaver!).....but you don't necessarily have to store your cute cards in a place where they will potentially hit you on the head. Unless, of course, you want to be just like me. For you naysayers who are saying, "But, if I print out pictures this Christmas, they'll be out of date by next Christmas," my reply is, "Pshaw. The children may be a little shorter in the picture than they are currently, but I had fewer wrinkles last year than I do this year."
Now, go have yourself a merry little Christmas. Possibly in a red velvet gown.