I am in a hotel room, having just finished Day One of the Ridiculously Long New Employee Training. You know, the one that I have No Business Presenting At. It has been a FUN day. First, our university car was available an hour later than it was supposed to be, and then I had to return it to carpool because there were FOUR flat tires. Once that was all straightened out, my co-worker and I decided to take the long, long, long route to C-town because the road and travel map showed the usual, efficient route was closed to any unnecessary travel. We finally arrived at our destination after driving in 65 MPH WINDS for three and a half hours. Just in time to look dishevelled and harried as we started the Ridiculously Long New Employee Training. It's been awesome is what I am saying.
So, on to topics I (and you!) give a shit about!
One of my favorite things to do around the holidays is to send out Christmas cards. I relish this task. The first time A. came over to my house to "talk," my coffee table was completely covered in printed out spreadsheets of the previous and current years Christmas card lists. Complete with columns indicating which card everyone received, so that if I have leftover cards from the previous year I don't accidentally send the same card to the anyone. I thought, "If this doesn't scare the shit out of him, nothing will." Needless to say, that was three years ago.
There are designed address labels that are pretty! and fancy! There are timeline, indicating when the letter needs to be written, printed, folded, stuffed into cards. There are dates on the calendar dedicated to addressadhesion, stamp acquisition. It is nothing less than Operation: Christmas Card.
And I love it.
Last year was the first year I included a Christmas letter. It seemed the easiest way to introduce A. to some of the people in my life, and to share the news of the previous year, (grad school, fishing stories, that sort of stuff). I am sure most people on the receiving end of the letter were bored silly, but I loved writing it and designing a fun layout for the letter and some photos. (A.'s mom is designing a crossword puzzle for her letter; how fun is that! It will be years before I can recycle that idea for my own letters, but the snazzy project idea is yours for the taking!)
Normally, to help finance this venture (I can't seem to whittle the list down to fewer that 130 addresses), I buy my cards a couple of days after Christmas for the next year. (I can usually find great cards for 75% off or so. Awesome! Or, you might think that is cheap and tacky. Whatever.) I found some great cards to send out this year, and I am just tickled to send them out. I mean, I will put this off for a day or two just because the anticipation of Operation: Christmas Cards makes me so damn giddy.
The problem is, I don't know that I can really budget in postage and the cost of printing the letters. It seems kind of lame not to include a letter, what with the precedent-setting missive of last year. With A. in grad school, our budget has had to change a bit. A ridiculous amount of money (almost $200) on Operation: Christmas Card just isn't feasible. (I doubt it is ever right to spend that much money on such a project, but shush. I don't want to hear it!)
Oh, this breaks my heart.
So, do you think it would be okay to send out electronic Christmas Cards (that I'll design myself) to the digitally savvy folks, really whittle down the list this year, and then send out cards to just a handful of folks? Oh, I almost get teary just thinking about it, but I am not sure what else I can do. I am even tempted to ask A. not to buy me a gift, but buy me some postage, instead! Lame, I know.
Oh, but I do love writing Christmas cards! Getting all settled and cozy with a cup of cocoa or glass of wine, the Christmas tree lights twinkling, Christmas music playing, and writing little notes to neighbors from my past, friends on the East Coast that I love and miss every day, family members that I am happy to have grown that much closer to over the course of the last year...
Oh, I do love Christmas cards! Are you crazy for Christmas cards, do you loathe them, or write just a few?
P.S. I won't be near my computer until tomorrow night, but I look forward to your comments. It will make Day Two of the Ridiculously Long New Employee Training go much faster! Happy Tuesday to you!