I take the business of Christmas Cards rather seriously.
The Christmas Card is my favorite part of Christmas. I erupt glee when I open the mailbox, peer inside and see a Card from a friend or a family. And when I open the Card, I look at the picture carefully and examine the differences from the previous year. If there's a letter, I read it carefully and note the progresses and successes. (Notice how no one sends a card with the failures? No one sends this: Johnny (18) started wetting the bed again, Jane (16) ended up with one of those, you know... diseases and Hank (29+12) just cannot give up the pot. It's been a bad year.)
Once I open and admire the Christmas Card and photo (if there is one), I attach it with magnets to the garage door. (The door that goes out to the garage, silly, not the actual garage door. Hello wind? Those precious mementos wouldn't last on the garage door. Speaking of garage door, Spouse fixed ours. Yippee! Several points for Spouse.)
Here's the current Garage Door:
Notice the sparseness. Come on now, send 'em already, would you? Or are you one of those send-cards-only-to-those-who-send-first kind of people? The prize for the best card goes to Megan of Holdsworth Photography. Finely fabricated, my friend. Finely fabricated. Also notice that the Governor sent us a card. That's right, the Governor. I'm sure he hand-picked us as recipients.
Anyway, since I receive this spectacle of joy and jubilation from The Christmas Card, I figure it's my duty to give back. We send The Christmas Card. It's a year-long process wherein I puzzle over the concept for The Photo. It takes many months to nail down the Family Frontispiece for the Christmas Card. Many months. For The Photo must represent the family and the year.
Thanks to Spouse and his dispensed happenings, last year was prolly our best Christmas Photo ever. We appreciate Spouse for surrendering six months of walking so that we could have the best Christmas Photo ever. (The story is recapped in this Series of Fortunate Events post, just in case you're new and didn't get to go through that drama with us.)
Here's that photo:
In years past, I have hand-crafted The Christmas Card. Spouse and the Yahoos help. It's a great family affair. This process usually begins in November and takes many hours. Also in years past, I have hand-printed a little special something for all 100+ of our recipients (we think we're more popular than we are.)
Hand made and hand printed! You might say that each Christmas Card I send is a little bit of love stuffed into an envelope and topped with a stamped star. Star-Stamped Love.
Incidentally, did you notice how I said, "in years past" twice?
Two times, I said, "in years past." That's a bit of foreshadowing. You know like Faulkner (yawn) and Twain (giggle) and Shakespeare (no way!) use the foreshadowing to let you know something bad is about to happen.
Something bad is about to happen. We are not going to hand-make the Christmas Card or hand-print a special little something in all of the Cards. Being as Spouse and I spent the last two weeks of November way over there, on the other side of the world - it just cannot happen. There is no time for hand-making or hand-printing or hand-anything.
The good news, however, is there will be a Christmas Card. And this card will have The Photo. And a signature, printed by a printing machine. I mailed a chunk of them today.
Would you like a sneak peak of The Photo? Hah! Sorry.
You'll just have to see it in your mailbox. (Or you could send a meTunes gift certificate.)