Despite my best efforts, I was sure that this would be the year I would have my Christmas cards sent out the first week in December. Heck, maybe even the last week of November. I was going to beat everyone else and our family’s card, letter, and photo would be the first to arrive in mailboxes all over the country. I even began buying the Virgin Mary Christmas stamps, one book a week, as soon as they hit the post office. I wrote my letter early and made copies at the UPS store on the 4-cent Friday. I found a family photo of us from this past summer and printed it at Ritz during their 6-cent Tuesday-Wednesday. They even had a cute caption and a pretty white border. It did not matter that this year I have a toddler running around and this year my husband is coming home from Afghanistan smack in the middle of the holiday season. (Praise the Lord for that one, by the way!) Nope, I am Mrs. Efficient and Mrs. Thrifty and my cards were going out on time.
Fast-forward a month and a half later and my cards are yet to be sent. Several times I have quarreled with the idea of throwing all of them in the garbage. (Or the burn pile…don’t want to be a victim of identity theft now do we?) Regardless of the fact that the letters, family photo, most recent photo of our little girl, and even sticker with info about our new blog are already sealed inside all of the envelopes that are already addressed and stamped. Enter Mrs. Perfectionist who I am trying so desperately to part with. You see, I have a massive list of families and friends that I send cards to every year. And each year I try to check off who has sent us a card and who we have sent cards to. This also requires updating addresses when someone moves, etc. That is the daunting task that is holding me back. Last year this event even turned into a New Year’s letter being sent.
Well today is the day. I am getting those letters out on January 13th if it means I have to stay up until 4am. I am also vowing that next year, if the cards are not ready by mid-December, then they are not important. I have recently begun de-cluttering many things in my life from objects in the storage unit to Internet use and other activities that are taking up too much of my time. So instead of calling it a “resolution” which only leads to feeling like a failure for not fulfilling that ‘perfectly,’ I’m just going to say that it is a number one goal of mine to focus on what is important and that means more time with my family and less time trying to be perfect.
Colleen Ellig is a proud wife and full-time mom with a degree in Psychology and a certificate in Elementary Education. She also co-pilots the website Chasing the When alongside her husband.