Four Christmas’s ago I didn’t send out Christmas cards and then wrote about the guilt I was feeling about not doing so. (Christmas card slackers - December 21, 2006) Never mind the fact that I was finishing my last semester of a Bachelors Degree, working full time, trying to figure out what was going to happen for Christmas, and getting a new life. Those darn cards were important!
What ended up happening?
Absolutely nothing. The world didn’t end because Susan missed a year of Christmas card sending. My friends and family members who have probably never missed sending theirs (except my mother, who will sometimes send them in January), didn’t shun me the following year and life went along as if my major transgression never happened. By the following year, I had a new job, I was living in Queens, and you can be sure I didn’t miss a second year in a row. That year and every year after I’ve sent New York City Christmas cards, given how much I love living here and wanting to share that joy with everyone else.
By now you must suspect that there’s a reason for this new missive about Christmas cards, right?
Yup, not gonna do it this year either. This will have to suffice as my Christmas greeting to all, along with my begging your forgiveness for being a slacker yet again. I have yet to purchase one present, let alone think about cards and sitting down to write them. It still makes me crazy that we start to see Christmas decorations go up in October and that by December 1st, retailers are making us feel that we’re running drastically behind in our shopping, when there are 24 days left in order to do so!
With the exception of my desk, I’m a relatively organized person. I like having the shopping done, the gifts wrapped and the cards written in a timely manner, yet I know for sure that will not happen this year. I don’t even think the shopping will commence for at least another two weeks. You see........my daughter is getting married and she chose the Christmas holiday season in which to do so. It will be a beautiful wedding and one that we are all looking forward too. However, it has made even thinking about buying the cards and stamps, unthinkable, let alone trying to play shopping catch-up, as well as perhaps baking a few goodies. Therefore, I’m not going to do it. We all survived the last time I didn’t send them, so there’s nothing that would lead me to believe we won’t do so again.
Of course I don’t really feel all that guilty about not sending out the cards. Over the past four years I’ve been learning how not to sweat all this small stuff. There’s no doubt that I still sweat from time to time, but that aspect of my personality has greatly improved. The only real sweating I should be doing, is in the gym, not while sitting in my living room mulling over the ramifications of not writing out Christmas cards.
Many, many years ago, when I was in 4th grade, my mother bought me a book that I saw at a school book fair and that still lingers in my memory to this day. It was Sleigh Bells for Windyfoot and I just loved it. I loved the simplicity of the Christmas depicted in that book. Cutting down the Christmas tree, a sleigh ride (with Windyfoot of course), the smell of burning wood in fireplaces and snow in the air, visiting family members, homemade gifts, and who could forget shooting the bear in the backyard. It was a book that reminded me of Christmas’ spent in Pennsylvania with my maternal grandparents and relatives. Tobogganing down big hills on the golf course across the street, skating on the pond at the bottom of the hill, Christmas cookies, the buck with five point antlers and a doe, standing in the snow in the backyard early one morning, and thankfully, never a bear. (Those have only appeared in recent years. Probably because they’re being squeezed out of their habitat by ever expanding development.) That’s the way I want Christmas to be. I love the feeling and the spirit. I hate the shopping and the guilt about not sending out the Christmas cards!
As in that previous year, things will just have to work themselves out. I’m trying to take the commercialism out of Christmas. This is will be the year when the gifts might be knitted, the goodies homemade and the cards, once again, not written.
Merry Christmas everyone!