Christmas Card Perfection

by Lesley on December 8, 2010 · 13 comments

in christmas

Dear family and friends,

Next week you’ll probably be getting a Christmas card from me. It’s from Jonathan too, of course. He helped me stuff about half our envelopes last night after I had a meltdown in our living room.

I really hate to admit having a meltdown over Christmas cards. It makes me feel very adult in the worst way possible. As a kid, I remember watching my mom and dad stuff Christmas cards. My poor mom always had five million things to accomplish during December, but she insisted on sending the nicest cards. They had adorable bows and said clever things. Everyone looked forward to receiving a Sebek Christmas card, usually because it meant seeing an embarrassing picture of us children in Home Alone scream poses, grinch costumes, or a family dog pile picture that belongs now on AwkwardFamilyPhotos.com. While these cards were always silly, they were still classy. It’s a tough balance to obtain but my mom did it perfectly. Every. Single. Year.

I swore I’d never follow in her footsteps, and yet here I am having panic attacks over envelopes, cards, labels and stamps. Because also like my mother, I married a man who knows how to save a buck or two. And every single year we have this tiny little argument around how much I’m going to spend on cards. The discussion usually starts in October, followed by hours spent researching prices, followed by a very sneak credit card transaction, followed by statements like this, “Can’t you just send an online card?” or “Can’t you just get them at Costco?”

There is absolutely nothing wrong with a Costco greeting card. Nothing. It’s just that I want them to be completely original and totally memorable and absolutely perfect.

This year I bought cards on Etsy and they are fine. I don’t love them but I like them okay. The problem is I bought the wrong clear address labels, and after putting all of them on I realized they appear white against the red envelopes. A man will not notice this small detail but I’ve convinced myself every woman who receives my card will judge me for making such an error.  I then spent an hour last night cutting up change-of-address cards to insert. When I went to stuff the cards, I realized the red paper and red envelope didn’t match (HORROR!) sending me into the above mentioned meltdown, of which I’m now truly embarrassed and sorry my husband had to witness such a moment.

So, family and friends…my cards are not perfect this year. And let’s be honest, you probably won’t notice. It’s me who cares- and I shouldn’t because December isn’t about trying to appear perfect and original and memorable. December is about reminding people you love them dearly. It’s reminding each other that Christ came as a baby to change our lives for the better; to forgive us for the ugly tantrums and to free us from the need to attempt perfection. I know this but I forget sometimes.

Love,

Lesley

P.S. The change-of-address inserts got cut from the card. They were too ugly. The new plan is that I’ll email you our address. 🙂

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11 comments
Ann Sebek
Ann Sebek

LOVED your card, and LAUGHED outloud when I read it. So VERY FUNNY!!!! Glad you recognized that nobody cares about the mismatching reds/clear address labels, etc..... I'm sure you got all that anxiety from your psycho mom.

Lesley Miller
Lesley Miller

Thanks for the sweet comments. Glad you all liked the card. My friend Erica took the pictures last summer for our five year anniversary. I'm so glad I'm not alone in the Christmas card madness. It's not an excuse but it makes me feel less crazy!

Katie
Katie

Please oh please will you one day post some of those infamous Sebek Christmas pictures? I still remember dying laughing when you told me about them the first time. I loved this post, Lesley. I love your transparency and I love your humor and I love your insight. You reminded me of a conversation I had with Heidi about her Christmas cards. She said, "They're not great but I'm probably the only one who will notice all the imperfections." I considered sending out a Christmas card this year. I was planning on wearing a Harry Potter sweatshirt and holding my cat. Then I decided a perk of being single is you don't have to deal with the Christmas card stress so I decided not to:) Thanks for making me laugh this morning.

lori
lori

Just got the card. Love it. Truly couldn't care less about the label - far too impressed with the fact that you snail mailed a Christmas card in the middle of moving season. We just sent out our pentennial family Christmas letter/card (yes that is once every 5 years) and it was emailed...so, no judging here. As for embarrassing family holiday greetings, please remember this little treasure: http://www.youtube.com/user/debestmom and or my mom's obsession with elfyourself...Ah, the holidays!

alysun
alysun

Someday when we meet, we will be the best of friends. I just know it because I've had similar meltdowns and then similar guilt over "this isn't the real meaning of the season." My most perfect Christmas was one we spent in Africa, far away from anyone who I thought needed to be impressed. Simple, small gifts, and tacky, comforting decorations, and good food and fellowship.

Aunt Dianne
Aunt Dianne

LOVED your card! All I saw was the darling couple on it & the love behind it.

Kristen
Kristen

i'm sorry, I can relate on all levels! So much so that i threatened to not send cards this year. i caved, but have only sent half as many as last year! (and i sent yours to the old address because, as you know, my husband doesn't share house info!) :) happy friday <3

Sarah
Sarah

I love you for sharing this -- I don't know that a lot of people would have the courage to put their psycho moments on display. The part about the two reds not matching just about killed me. Love you!

Corinne
Corinne

Oh Lesley, I love you for all the ways you're different from me! I would meltdown over different things of course... But yes, I still much prefer to give non-generic, personal cards for all holiday and birthday occasions as well. I don't think I could do Costco either ;)

Katie
Katie

I am looking forward to your card..hopefully we are on your list! I was working on our cards today as well...I couldn't go quite as extravagant as I would have liked either..oh well :)

Ashlee
Ashlee

Oh, Lesley. I sadly know this story all too well. I'm totally in for the group therapy. Just tell me where to sign up ;) Love you friend!

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