Two years ago I made a decision that I was going to have to let some things go at Christmastime. I wanted to let go of the busyness. Of the stress. I wanted to hold on to what really mattered: my children at such tender ages, my husband, and the fun and sweetness of celebrating the birth of Christ.
I looked at my calendar and my to-do list, and I tried to figure out what I could cut. What could I retire that would make a difference in my enjoyment of Christmas? And, suddenly it hit me. Christmas cards.
Now, I love Christmas cards. I adore every single family picture, here’s-what-we-did-this-year letter, every sweet hello and every glittery greeting. I display a many as I can and keep stacks for months after the holiday has passed.
I have always enjoyed sending cards, too. I liked the thought of the cute faces of my people arriving in your mailbox. I loved staying in touch with dear friends from all of our different homes through the years. But, the truth is that by the time we moved for the fifth time, my Christmas card list was daunting. I started to realize that trying to send cards to everyone I wanted to send them to was going to be a huge undertaking and a major expense.
So, I made the decision one day, without fanfare: I wouldn’t send Christmas cards. And, suddenly it was like a weight was lifted off of a busy, often-weary mama’s shoulders.
Now, I do sometimes feel like I am committing a major crime against our loved ones, especially since they keep lovingly sending their Christmas cards that I adore so much. But, it is such a great relief to have one less time-consuming thing to worry about so that I can focus on these sweet babies that I only have with me for a short time.
I feel confident that my dear people who should see a card in their box from me understand. I think they get it. They know that the hustle and bustle of the holidays can sometimes feel like more pressure to perform. To host the perfect party. To dress the kids just right for Christmas pictures. To put our best, sparkling, look-at-how-awesome-our-year-has-been foot forward. But, I’m aiming for a different kind of Christmas these days. One that is more focused on the Savior-baby in the manger. One that is intent on memorizing what my kids look like and sound like at just this age. One that is more wrapped up in the joy and the magic than in the millions of things that need to be done. And, if dropping Christmas cards from my must do list is one way to make that happen, then I won’t worry too much about letting that tradition go.