Saturday, January 16, 2010

Only a Little OCD

Every year my love affair with the good old-fashioned Christmas card begins the day we take the Christmas boxes down from the attic and I uncover the old shoebox filled with photos and letters from Christmases past.  I usually spend a good hour or so every Black Friday ogling over how cute everyone's kids are, reviewing what was new in everyone's lives in previous years, and reminiscing about our friendship with each of them.

Facebook and blogging have made keeping connected with long-lost friends easier than ever, but there's just something so irreplacably thrilling about walking out to the mailbox and bringing in a handful of ♥love♥  in the form of smiling faces, interesting updates, and the occasional hand-written note.   I devour each letter with eager anticipation and secretly make brazen plans to pay a visit to each one of our friends wherever they are in the world to renew our friendships again (don't start panicking about us dropping by unexpectedly...my plans rarely come to fruition).   

I'm one of those crazy slightly neurotic people who wishes people would keep in touch forever.  I just love seeing how their families have grown.  I love hearing about their yearly adventures, however awe-inspiring or boring they may be.  And I'm always a little teary eyed and protective when it's time to take the cards down off the wall.  No one is allowed to tell me that it's time to take them down, nor is anyone allowed to help me take them off the wall.  I barely took them down a couple of days ago and already I find myself staring at the blank wall with a touch of longing for the familiar faces of friendships past.      


Okay. Okay.  Maybe I'm getting a little overly sentimental here, but if you think I'm a little OCD about getting Christmas cards, you should see the space in my brain that is consumed by the creation of our own Christmas cards each year.  It's a wonder I have enough brain left to type this blog post.

Not only do I mentally check off our activities during the year as being Christmas letter worthy or not, but wherever we go during the year random strangers are accosted and rallied into taking family photos of us.   Every year except this year one of those nameless photographers has taken the photo that is sent out to friends and family to be the face of our family for the next 12 months.   Little do they realize what power they wield when I hand my camera over to their bewildered hands.


This year we opted for our Blue Lily photo which we had taken in April.  It was the only time we've ever used a professional photo and the first time we haven't ordered our cards from Costco.   I figured we would never get a shot with such gorgeously brilliant lighting again, so we may as well go all the way with it.  After all it is the face of our family for the next 12 months....


PS   I'm curious. I have several friends who just don't like to send Christmas cards and since this viewpoint is such a foreign concept to me,  I'm interested in understanding better why people feel this way.   What it is that you like or don't like about sending and receiving cards?   

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9 comments:

Dad and Mom said...

We love receiving Christmas cards and letters. I think we've only missed sending Christmas cards one year since we've been married.

Deanne said...

I love receiving them! I'm just not great about getting mine sent - from getting a family picture taken to finding all the addresses to sending the cards all in the midst of other holiday madness. This year I was successful though, so maybe I've set a new pattern. =)

Denise said...

I LOVE Christmas Card...i love getting them...even sending them. I too obsess about what photo to use and how to design it.

And after Christmas, we have a special board to display all the photos we received so that we can enjoy our friends and family all year round.

Charlene said...

I love sending and receiving Christmas cards. Their was a couple of years when money was tight and I couldn't send them. I don't enjoy writing letters. I'm just not as creative as others and mine falls under the boring side. Thankfully, with blogging those that are interested in my life now have an opportunity to read it every month. I only wished that I put my blogging address on my card for others to enjoy and read!

Deon said...

I enjoy it all as you know... however, I do wonder how much to do because of blogging and facebook nowadays. I think the tradition is still an important one. I have my own silly little system of who gets cards and who doesn't - if I don't hear from them for 2 or 3 years, they are off my list. For those who just don't send them, I think it's often money or time, or feeling overwhelmed already. Some of my friends instead send New Years or Valentines Cards - which I think is kind of creative actually. And, sometimes in life, we just have to let go of something. What do you use to stick your cards to the wall? Regular tape or something special??

Lara said...

I use good old-fashioned scotch tape to hang up my cards. It's sturdy enough to hold them up, but gentle enough not to damage the paint.

Annette said...

Was it worth it to use a professional photographer? Are you going to use one again another year?

I love getting Christmas cards and letters but feel completely ripped off if there is not a photo included.

I don't like paying for stamps. Blahh.

angela said...

Oh! I see mine up there! I LOVE Christmas cards and everything about them. I love the letters, even the really long ones. This year we had a friend who brilliantly worked "gall-bladder surgery" into a rhyming poem that described their year. I think it means most from friends that we love that we don't live near (like you!). I think the only people who don't love them must not have moved around much. It is seriously one of my very favorite things about the season. It is always the last thing to take down for me too. I do feel ripped off when there is no letter, or if there is no photo, or even if the photo doesn't include the parents. I have really never felt that that any letter I have received was too long, or braggy, or obnoxiousm(common excuses that I hear)- I always love them! Probably because I love the people so much. Thank you for reliably fitting my criteria every year. We obviously have the same feelings on the issue! I care so much, that I am willing to send a lame/cheap card and cheesy letter written by my hubby who has a different "style" than I do.

angela said...

PS. Your card, photo and letter were exceptionally cute this year! Thanks for including us on your list!

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