Monday, December 3, 2012

Easier Christmas Letter

The first on-top-of-it person handing me their Christmas letter is my queue to start writing mine. Before we even get into, I'd like to say this is something we should feel free to slash from our holiday to do list if it steals our joy a.k.a. stresses us out. Or, if we don't want to slash it completely, we should open our minds to what could be (e-versions, printed envelopes, easier family photo) instead of mindlessly following the status quo. I'm asking myself, is the "right" way right for me?  

I enjoy writing our letter and designing the stationary, but not printing, addressing, stuffing or sealing. I now print the addresses and enlist Brian's help to stuff and seal. Printing stress is my biggest motivator for contemplating an e-version, not to mention being kind to the earth and economical. Maybe next year. (I already bought envelopes and printed pictures.)

The printing stress is second only to portrait stress. Getting us all pretty - simultaneously, and coordinating, but not too matchy-matchy is enough to drive me crazy. Especially when I give myself an itsy-bitsy budget. This year slipped by without us taking any family portraits. I wasn't up to it. Then we were headed to a wedding and all of us were wearing black or grey and I remembered a photo of a couple who was blurry in the background, while the camera focused on an ornament. "That's it," I thought. "Doesn't matter if everyone's looking at the camera or if someone's grumpy. Perfect." So we took the photo below outside the church and spent fifteen minutes at the most. Easiest. Portrait. Ever.

if this isn't your dream photo, I found other Easier photo ideas here.
I hope whatever process you find yourself in the middle of goes smoothly and that you'll retain your holiday cheer if your printer decides to start streaking. The secret to happy times has to be giggling when most people would grouch. Sometimes I know the laughing option is there and it's better, but I just can't do it. If you're in that boat today, just don't beat yourself up. So counter-productive, not to mention mean. When in doubt, give yourself a break. I did last night. I swung by Starbucks on my way home and you know what? When I stopped over-thinking it, it felt good.

Right now, I'm posting about easier ways to enjoy the holidays. The last three posts talk about this and I'll be writing at least one more - about kids, gifts and the gimmies. :)


  1. In my life, Christmas letter-writing IS an added stress. However, I want to give you inspiration for still doing it the old-fashioned way. :) I realize that most Christmas letters are mass-produced, and an e-version seems like a good alternative. But one of my greatest simple joys about the holiday season is going to the mailbox and seeing whose Christmas greetings I received that day. It's a small gift you can give to many all at once, and I believe it's appreciated far more than you realize. To me, it's proof that someone thought of me...maybe in mass...but they still had to go through their mailing list and decide who "made the cut" to receive their little tidbit of love and greetings. It makes me feel special....and that's a gift that's always worth giving! :)

    PS...A year or so ago, when economy hit hard, we recieved numerous e-greetings. While I still "made the list" didn't give me a warm fuzzy feeling. It was cold and impersonal. I pay bills online. I get store ads in my inbox. I get reminders from acquaintances about what's coming up in my social or business calendar. It doesn't reek of "personal" intentions. Just a thought...

  2. Yes! thanks for the's a tactile experience when it comes in the mail. I like that too. ;)