Monday, December 18, 2006

O Christmas Card! Thou Art the Unceasing Agony in My Otherwise Cheery Holiday Disposition

I spent all weekend working on finishing up my Christmas cards. For those who don't know, I am the sucker that spends a majority of my holiday season creating handmade masterpieces that probably hang on my loved ones' refrigerators before being tossed in the nearest trash can on December 26. OK, that's a really negative outlook for this jolly time. The truth is, I enjoy making least the first 10 or so. Anyway, I was so proud of this year's totally original design. I won't post a photo yet so not to ruin the surprise for my friends and family who eagerly log on to read my rants and will receive this card via snail mail any day now. You'll just have to take my word that it is a fabulous card. Since we cut our Christmas card list down to just 80 this year, I took it upon myself to make a more complex, yet imaginative design. I have decided based on this foolish decision, that I may not be in my right mind around the holidays. Perhaps I am lured into some strange Christmas fit of madness by the festive holiday music that begins playing in the grocery store at Halloween and I never fully recover until stuffed pink Easter Bunnies make their appearance on the store shelves sometime in February. Nevertheless, I endeavored and labor-intensive, yet stunning, Christmas card this year. It never fails that I fall completely in love with my card until about the 10th card. By about the 30th card, I start shortening the already shortened recipient list. And by the 50th card I detest the whole Christmas card ritual and make excuses as to why certain family members don't deserve this work of art anyway. The only thought that gets me through is the knowledge that at least my mom will appreciate the effort. It is the duty of every mother to marvel at the child's creative talents no matter how lacking those talents may be. And my mother has continued to honor this maternal commitment since the days of fingerpaintings and crayon scribbles (thanks Mom!).

So, I labored on these cards this weekend. Not a labor of love, but of obligation. I was liberated from burden late last night when I finally placed the pastage stamps on each envelope and put them in a box to take to the post office. Having been released from the holiday card bondage, I was again excited about my little Christmas showpieces and I rushed to the post office before dawn this morning to drop them in the box and send them on their merry way to delight my dearest friends and family. So, you can imagine how frustrated I was to find that my local mailbox was crammed so full of other people's store-bought, completely boring greeting cards that I couldn't stuff any of my cards in the slot...not even the card addressed to Mom! ARGHHH!! Oh Christmas Cards, will your harassment never end?!?

But do not fret, my friends, I am not yet beaten. I made my way to another nearby suburb to a almost hidden out-of-the-way mail receptacle and gleefully tossed in my multitude of Christmas cheer. I even managed to still make it to work on time! What I've learned from this year's experience can be summed up by the following: I hereby promise and swear to treasure each and every Christmas card I receive this year (especially those handmade by other creative elves out there) and cherish them dearly....until at least December 27.

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