I admit I am one of those people with an attitude towards Christmas that vacillates between wild enthusiam and Bah-Humbug … sometimes in the span of a single hour.
I miss the innocent anticipation of Christmas I had in childhood. I miss the magic of simply gathering with people I care about without all the expectations that is now built in to the season.
It seems to have morphed into this insatiable monster of buy, buy, buy … give, give, give … eat, eat, eat.
ok – maybe the “eat, eat, eat” is just my problem.
I’ve tried to scale back the madness, but each year I find myself being sucked into the vortex of the *perfect* Christmas once again, only to then dissolve into a funk in the days following … resentful that my holiday felt more like *work* and less like *play*.
Several years ago, in an attempt to pull Christmas back from the brink, I asked my family for a new Christmas tradition … the exchanging of cards to one another on Christmas morning.
I had a secret hope that it would eventually replace the exchanging of gifts.
I had this Norman Rockwell image of loved-ones gathered around, spending precious time with each other, sharing personal sentiments of love and goodwill.
I believed that the cards would be the catalyst that would trigger this change.
When your family is comprised of men, your intention and their execution aren’t always aligned.
The biggest kid of all – my husband – steadfastly refused to give up the exchanging gifts, and the exchange of cards became less the warm-and-wuzzy I was expecting and more the silly humour that seems to characterize my family.
The gathering of loved ones has happened … with all the noisy chaos of happy bodies telling stories, laughing, and spreading good cheer.
Mushy sentimentality? … well, not so much. Instead, my men have embraced cards on the other end of the spectrum.
The first hour or more of our Christmas morning is spent in giggles and trying to see who-outdid-who in the humour department.
I guess I didn’t appreciate how ingrained our new family tradition had become until last weekend when I met with one of my nieces. She has spent Christmas morning with us the past couple of years and has been a witness to the light-hearted silliness of our card exchange.
She informed me that she had already started working on her card selection for Christmas morning.
Damn! – suddenly I’m feeling the pressure is now on. What is this new monster I have created?
Each of the cards in this post has been a part of one of our Christmases past.
Card credits to prgreetings.com and hallmark.com/shoebox with my thanks for providing my family with much more entertainment from a piece of paper than you can possibly imagine.