Have you realized that Christmas is exactly three months away?
Have you begun thinking about what you’ll put in your Christmas letter? Or gearing up to read the dozens of letters you will receive during the holiday season?
I am often well into Christmas preparations by this time of year. My goal is usually to have everything done before Thanksgiving, so I can deal with our family’s onslaught of birthdays and anniversaries that fall between the two holidays, and also so that I am able to give the Christian season of Advent its due solemnity.
Ha. Even with all the advance preparation, it seems I still crash into Christmas like an overheated stock car having lost two wheels.
My tradition has been to have hand designed Christmas cards in hand in time to address them by hand while I am answering the door Halloween night. Then over the next four weeks, I write the notes inside at a civilized pace, and actually give thought to the family and friends I am writing. We send out more than 250 cards every year, so pacing is key.
Every year, the dilemma of a Christmas newsletter presents itself. Do I really want to burden my loved ones with 12 months of minutia when they barely have time to count two turtle doves?
I’ve always been a fan of photos. A picture is worth a thousand words, so I like one or two that say it all. I prefer they be larger than a thumbnail and illuminated by a flash, so we don’t need magnifying glasses when we sit down for the card-opening ritual.
Now that I write a blog, you already have more details about my year than any holiday letter could reveal. You know about my speeding ticket, my ills and diet woes, my husband’s amnesia, my favorite song lyrics and my son’s college graduation, as well as way too many stories and true confessions from my childhood. You know we are getting central air, and that I have a clean basement. You’ve read my travel stories and know which airports I’ve been in, what books and magazines I read, what concerts and plays I’ve attended. You even know my favorite smells and how many weeks I have been off coffee.
Egad, I’ve already written the world’s longest Christmas letter, more than 150 pages! How can you stand me?
I still plan to hand address 250 envelopes this year, but there is nothing left to put inside.
Please remember there’s no Word Nymph on Sundays. I may still be recovering from National Punctuation Day.