Today I want to talk about Christmas cards.
When I first started corresponding with Dan (three years after we met in Costa Rica), he told me that he made Christmas cards every year.
“What do you mean “make”?” I asked (probably in one of our hours-long g-chat conversations). In my world, Christmas cards are pretty pictures printed on cards en masse.
That year, Dan sent me two of his handmade Christmas cards. One of them, he admitted to me, was his favorite of all the cards he had made that year.
When we got married, I insisted that we start a photograph component, knowing we simply couldn’t hand make the number of cards we would want to send out to our combined list.
Dan agreed, but he insisted on designing them himself.
Designing the card is always pretty funny. When we sit down to do it, we sort of have to agree that we’re probably going to fight a little bit and that we have listen to each other (it’s actually just that I get uncharacteristically stubborn about getting my way and Dan has take deep breaths to deal with me).
But it’s gotten better over the years. We comb through our year of pictures. We think about all the places we’ve been.
Like this year, there’s James’s first hike in Kananaskis country, Alberta, Lake Superior, Minnesota, Hidden Lake in Glacier National Park, Montana and Paget Lookout in Yoho National Park, B.C. (I don’t want to paste the actual thing here because we’re so far behind and haven’t even mailed them out yet…)
And the hand made card tradition has endured with an annual trip to Michael’s which I look forward to with stupid anticipation. Then hours of Christmas movies with wine, cutting and pasting to the point of exhaustion (No more! I can’t do it anymore! we moan by the end).
The whole thing takes months, but we look forward to it nonetheless.
Then we tape the cards that arrive above the arch between the kitchen and the dining room. I’m looking at them right now – and even though I’m all alone while James naps, I feel close to everyone, you know?
I have to say: I love this tradition. I love watching the faces of our friends and family gather in our home. I love sending out a greeting of cheer.
Every year, I entertain the idea of skipping some piece of it. Designing the card. Hand making and writing the others. But the truth is the hours could not be better spent. How often do I engage in a months-long hands-on project? One that is targeted to arrive in 130+ mailboxes of the people I care most about?
Anyway. Happy holidays sweet readers.