I know in the past I've been a little down on the whole Christmas season. I think I've partly figured out why it stressed me out so much.
1. I do the whole thing by myself. From the baking, to the cards, to the presents, to the decorating, to the activities. If it's going to happen, I have to do it. My husband will help, but he thinks all of it is pointless and meaningless and it's hard soliciting help from someone with that attitude.
2. We have three birthdays in December. Check that. Three. In addition to buying Christmas presents for SEVEN people, we also have to buy at least one present per person for three birthdays. For birthdays around here, we like to let the person pick all their meals. So in addition to the cost, I also get to plan those days, sometimes it gets pretty strenuous. The biggest part is the cake or pie. My husband has to have banana cream pie. Often, I'll just let Marie Callendar do the baking, but sometimes we don't have the money and I usually have the ingredients for such a pie on hand.
3. The kids asking me and telling me all day every day for several months, more during December, what they want for Christmas or what they want to do as a fun Christmas activity is enough to drive a person insane.
Okay, enough with all that. Those are reasons why I'm wound tighter than a drum this time of year.
But, there is one thing about Christmas that I love to do. I will skip decorating. I will skip baking. I will do the most basic gifts. I will skip big meal preparation. I'll skip activities. But I never skip this.
I love to do Christmas cards. I love to get them too.
I know lots of people who don't like the Christmas card and letter tradition. They think it's a brag card and make fun of how people will list their accomplishments, etc. But I actually love reading those. I love finding out what my kids and their kids have in common. I feel like I'm getting to know them in a small way. I enjoy the pictures too and usually keep them up for quite a while.
Besides, do you really want to know that my son spent two months on and off with the stomach flu? Do you really want to know that my daughter still has accidents or gets up at night with bad dreams? Do you really want to know that my 5-year-old waits until I turn around to pound on his 9-month-brother and then every time I ask what happened, he says, "I don't know, I think he fell down?" Do you really want to know that my husband and I fight about how to decorate the tree every year? I mean, people don't want to hear the bad stuff, but they complain about hearing the good stuff.
The yearly Christmas card is something I will do every year until there is no longer a mail system and then I'll do it digitally. Hopefully, people will still reciprocate.