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Before the Holidaze Begin, the Holiday Letter is Done!

It’s really not my fault, even though it does seem hypocritical of me. I mean, how can someone who grumbles about the “Happy Hallow-thanks-ismas” season that morphs and spreads through all the retail stores as soon as they take down the Back To School signs be done with her Holiday Letters?  (Photo credit: The Casual Perfectionist.)

Yes, it’s true.

I stamped, sealed and addressed the last ones on Halloween.

Now, that’s scary.

But, like I said, it’s not my fault. If I don’t do them now, I’ll be rushing to get them done amidst traveling, guests, anniversary celebrations, holiday parties, more traveling, birthday shindigs, and more guests.  (Have I mentioned all the parties, traveling, and guests?)

So, I do them early. This year, I have them done a little bit earlier than normal, because of our overactive travel schedule, but I’ll still mail them out on December 1st. I’ve always tried to get a December 1st postmark on my Holiday Cards. It’s my own little “Welcome to December!” party in my head.

The only year I missed the December 1st deadline by a few days was when I was in the hospital having Claire. But, that’s the year we cheated and had our Very First Family of Three Photo taken in the hospital, and then we used that photo on a Birth Announcement/Holiday Card. Two proverbial partridges got knocked out of the pear tree by the same stone that year.

Every year I pick a different theme or style of Holiday Letter and Photo. This year, I used Photoshop to put together a photo collage of our adventures, and I had them printed as a 4×6 photo. I found specialty envelopes at a local office supply store that fit the size of photo and letter we used, and leisurely cut, folded, stamped and addressed them, well before the holidaze started.

But, don’t you have a blog? Aren’t you on Facebook?  Haven’t you embraced most things technological?  Why do you still send a snail mail Holiday Photo Card and Letter?

Because I want to! Turnabout is fair play, and I love getting Holiday Cards, Letters, and Photos, and we get a ton. It may be old-school, but it’s a tradition that I’m holding on to as tightly as I can.

Plus, I only pretend to share everything online. Some things, like complete family photos, never show up in my blog and rarely does my husband appear in photos on Facebook.  (Don’t worry.  His team of lawyers were familiar with the Holiday Photo Clause and granted me special, though limited permission.)

And, I know this will be hard to believe, but there are some people on our Holiday Card List that don’t read the blog and are not on Facebook. I was curious, so I decided to take time out from bragging about being done with my Holiday Letter and actually count those people. I always send 100 cards, so the math was pretty easy. The result? 79% of the people on our Holiday List do not live their lives online.

That’s a lot, and certainly enough for me to justify keeping this little tradition alive.

What about you? Do you send a Holiday Letter?

I’m making a list and checking it twice.

It’s that time of year again! Barely two weeks ago, sleigh-bells were ringing; were you listening? In the lane, snow was glistening, and it was a beautiful sight! Because this is beautiful Colorado, of course, it was in the 70s right after that.

Still, we know that Winter is just around the corner, and for our family, that means it’s time to get the Holiday Letters done. (stock photo by lusi)

I love doing our Holiday Letters. Every year, I tweak The List. Even with some addition and subtraction, we try to keep the number hovering around an even 100. We receive about as many, and we use them in our decorations. One year, I strung the cards and photos on ribbon and they graced our banister. Another year, we affixed them to the door of our coat closet, and they brightened the whole room. I haven’t decided how to handle the wonderful onslaught of cards this year.

Every year, our Holiday Letter is a little different than the year before. Some years, I’ve written a poem, updating all our friends and relatives about the highlights of our year. Some years, it’s more of a traditional letter. (I keep everything to one page, though. Anything longer than that, and my eyes glaze over, so I can imagine what happens to our poor recipients!) This year, I’ve written our missive in Pop Quiz form.

Wait. What? Did she say written!?

Yes, the Holiday Letter is done. The photo cards were created in October and have arrived. The envelopes are addressed, and the letters are printed.  (I haven’t decided if any snowmen will be punched in the process of creating this year’s letter or not!) They are ready to stuff, seal and mail by December 1st. The year Claire was born was the only year I’ve missed my self-imposed “they have to be mailed on December 1st” deadline. I had her on the 30th, and she and I weren’t even released from the hospital until the 2nd, so getting them out on December 3rd was the best I could do.

One of my sisters times her holiday cards so that they arrive on December 1st, and even I think that’s a bit extreme (says Pot, as she’s chatting with Kettle).

Every year, we do a family photo of some sort. Before Claire was born in 2005, my husband and I would pose with our kitties, Merlin and Jasper. Yes, we were those people. In 2005, we cheated.  We had a great friend come to the hospital and take our very first family-of-three photo.  That photo, coupled with Claire’s birth stats doubled as The Birth Announcement AND our Holiday Letter, all done on the same photo card. Merlin and Jasper were bumped from the photo, but I didn’t hear them complain too loudly. This year, I was able to include three photos: a photo of Claire, a photo of my husband and I, and a photo of the three of us. Fancy!

Speaking of fancy, why not just send electronic cards? I’ve gladly embraced technology and have changed most of our lives over to the electronic age, yet I can’t bring myself to end this tradition yet. A ton of people on our list aren’t as electronically advanced as we are. Plus, there is something so magical about putting the Holiday Stamps on an envelope. On the flip side, there is something I’m not ready to give up yet when it comes to physically opening mail from far away places.

So, what about you? Do you send Holiday Cards? Are you going more electronic this year? Are you doing anything different than last year? Share with us!