The week of Thanksgiving, I remember thinking to myself that I should probably get on it with the Christmas cards. I didn't send them out last year either… so I was feeling guilty and feeling like I probably owed it to relatives and friends to just get them out no matter what. I started googling looking at all the pretty Christmas card designs and I felt an instant pang of dread. It felt a lot more stressful than joyful. I mean, it always has been an extra layer of stress for me during the holiday season… But this year the dread struck me like lightning.
So since it's so much harder for me to be kind to myself than it is to be kind to a friend… I thought to myself "what would I tell a girlfriend if she were telling me this?" It's my new thing to help me not torture myself more than I already have the propensity to do… Here's what I would say to a friend "Girl, don't even send those cards. Focus on your sweet family. Spend the time you would've spent addressing cards loving on them. Bring joy instead of stress into their lives. Mailing out Christmas cards doesn't make you a better wife and mom--ditching stress does."
So, no cards. OhMahGosh y'all it feels so great to come to this decision. No individually mailed cards this year, and it's quite possible there will never be individually mailed cards ever again. No stamping stuff. No begging pardons from people for asking for their addresses once again because I can't keep my sh** together and just input their info into my phone like any normal, civilized human in 2016. No spending an insane amount of money on cards and stamps to send to people I haven't physically seen in almost a decade. No coordinating outfits to match and arguing with my son that he better get that freshly pressed shirt tucked in. I DON'T EVER PRESS SHIRTS, Y'ALL. My dryer has an over-utilized steam function that makes me never iron anything. Anything requiring an iron and starch gets outsourced to the dry cleaners because I ain't about that life. So I ask you: WHY IN THE BLUE BLAZES do I need people on my mailing list to think that my son wears starchy, crispy shirts he hates wearing?! Lawd.
Last year I did a silly e-card with a pun-tastic caption and a photo collage on Facebook. This year I'm doing only this blog post. YOLO! It feels so good to scratch an unnecessary stressor I burden myself with off of my list. There is stress that comes with the ebbs and flows of life, and then there is stress that is self inflicted. I feel like American culture is absolutely LOADED with self inflicted stress. This is the kind of stress that we choose and pile on because "it's just how things are done", "it's just what we do", and this is "just the way it is". Um. Who is the boss of these ridiculous rules of Pinteresty cute Christmas cards?! Who decided this is a thing moms must do?! I don't know… But she's fired.
So anyway, our family still exists. I promise. We put on a little weight from last year. My hair is longer than it was last year. The Messy Mr has a little more salt in his salt and pepper look he's been rocking the past few years (which I think is sexy as all get out). Our kiddo is a little bigger and he cares a lot more about his swooshy bangs than he did last year. Barkley is still as ugly as he ever was, but we had another year of his sweet snuggles.