Ok. Before we even begin the Christmas Card debacle, let's start with one simple ingredient:
Clark W. Griswold.
Clark is simply a "must-have" for Christmas card writing and Christmas card decorating. Here he is keeping me company all alone for Christmas 2007 in Seattle:
Oh that look that says, "Uncle Lewis, you killed my tree." Swoon.
So once Clark, Eddie and I were all settled in for a warm winter's nap, the real work began. My cards are always such a fun project. Probably because I have borderline OCD and I love to organize and create them all. I love sending the same cards to the same people year after year. It reminds me of the power of my friendships and the strength of my family. My list almost never changes. It just includes new and wonderful people that come into my life.
Papyrus. Not just paper. The BEST card store in the world. Overpriced? Yes. Worth every penny? Yes. I had to go with a non-neutral holiday saying this year. Yes America, they say, "Wishing you a very special Christmas." I had to go with "Christmas," not "Holiday" for one reason: look how glorious the front of the cards are!
Next comes a handwritten note to everyone. Which takes about...oh, two days and 14 hours. Once I've finished that comes the really fun part: stickers.
For the record, I count stamps as stickers. For one, they are self adhesive, which says sticker to me. Secondly, the come on a sheet as most stickers do. The stamps I wanted this year were the same as last year. (Thanks a bunch Post Office for not introducing new stamps this year. Slackers.) I went to 4 post offices here in Florida and received the same news at all of them: Sold Out. I felt like Mary and Joseph looking for a room at the inn. No Christmas stamps to be found on the entire west coast of Florida. No matter. A call to TBF in Seattle. TBF, or trusty best friend, is one of those rare finds who will run to a store at 2AM to get me a Twix bar. So one phone call to him, and I had 4 books of Christmas Stamps in the mail to me the next day. And aren't they worth it?
Well, except the blue ones.
Side note about Christmas Stickers: they are hard to find. I came upon these Gems last year in Seattle. I naturally bought two tins of them, one for last year and one for this year. They are truly beautiful. If you ever find them in a store, purchase them immediately.
I also start my search for return address labels around Thanksgiving. I sit next to DF on my laptop and scour the internet for the most beautiful ones I can find. This year, I knew I wanted green because my envelopes are red. Trying to mix it up. Because I'm a fiancee this year, I needed labels to say mine and DF's name as well. To TinyPrints.com we go. Expensive. Ridiculously expensive. Go big or go home. Or go to RetailMeNot.com and get a coupon. Which I promptly did. Three days later these puppies arrived in the mail, and I was thrilled.
Not blurry in person. Honest.
About mid-way through the project, I always want to give up. I look at the mess I've created and want to bail. Then I think about how happy I am if I get ONE Christmas card, and it gives me the motivation to finish.
Well folks, after all my hard work and massive cramps in my right hand. Plus one tiny blister on my ring finger, I wind up with this:
Note: I used a blue stamp for the sample. Ha.
All done. DF took me to the Post Office to mail them on Monday. After waiting for 35 minutes to get to the counter, I asked the gentleman who was helping us to kindly hand-cancel all of my cards. He looked at me like I was crazy, and asked if he could just run them through the meter and be done with it. I very politely informed him that if he hand-cancels the stamps it will look like Santa did it. That was met with an eye roll from DF and the mailman. I can't win.
Well Folks, there is hope that next year I won't go overboard. Maybe I shouldn't take it so seriously but I do. I did find these babies on clearance though....maybe I should just send them next year. Bah humbug.
"Merry Christmas. Merry Christmas. Kiss my ass. Kiss his ass. Happy Hanukkah."