Today my kids will don their homemade costumes, upcycled treat bags and eat their body weight in Halloween candy.
Tomorrow I will box up those costumes, recycle their treat bags and confiscate their candy in the hopes of some slower, healthier consumption.
The day after that I officially kick into Thanksgiving and Christmas mode.
First thing on the agenda: ordering Christmas cards.
With all of texting, emailing, Skyping, Facebooking and calling, personal mail has almost disappeared.
And I miss that so much.
I miss the anticipation of bright envelopes and Christmas stickers in my mailbox … the happy sight of all those cards taped to my pantry door … the nostalgic part of me that won’t let me take down the pictures of the people I love most until well into January.
And it’s going away.
Every year there are less cards in the mail box, less cards up on that pantry door and less excitement about seasons greetings when I know it’s probably going to be just a quick “Merry Christmas Friend #215” on my Facebook wall.
That first Christmas after the Layoff Fairy found us, I insisted on sending out Christmas cards. I only dared send out a handful … but I sent them. And I was so grateful for all the ones that landed on my doorstep—cards that said not only Merry Christmas, but we love you … we’re so sorry that you’re going through this … we’re thinking and praying for your family … in ways that no digital greeting could possible convey. And I kept everyone one of those cards to remind me just how blessed my family has been.
There’s another reason I love the whole ritual of sending out Christmas cards and it’s purely selfish I suppose. For all of the busy, all of the budgeting and all of the blur of the holiday rush, I appreciate more than ever the chance to stop … pause … relish the magic of the season … think of each of the wonderful people on my greeting card lists … take a minute to hand-write a little note on the bottom of their card … address their envelope with red and green markers … and affix just the right holiday stamp to say:
I love you.
I’m thinking of you.
You’re worth two minutes and .44 cents of my time.
That’s why I’m so excited to partner with Shutterfly again this year to help make this tradition more affordable for us all.
I’ve ordered from Shutterfly several times and am always impressed with the results. Some of you who have been with THRIVE since the beginning will remember last year when I wrote about our terrible luck getting traditional Christmas cards—a fact that I’ve come to embrace and even look forward to. Last year I hauled my Dirty Half Dozen down to the isles of Walmart to take our annual Walmart Walk of Shame holiday cards … then picked out and customized the heck out of my favorite Shutterfly design … and squealed out loud when my box showed up a few short days later.
And the cards?
Pure delicious awesomeness.
I LOVED my cards from Shutterfly and the chance to use their great discount code to order enough cards for everyone on my list while keeping my budget right where it needed to be. These cards captured my family’s spirit and energy in a completely professional , completely unique, yet completely this-is-so-cool-that-I-can-create-the-perfect-Merry-Christmas-From-Produce-card sort of way.
And the designs this year?
Be still my beating heart. How ‘bout these?
Or maybe the coolest snow globe ever … or a precious declaration of faith.
This Alleluia card slays me. I’d pick this one hands-down if we had a newborn in our house. But since we’re done, I’m crushing on this gorgeous monogram / collage number.
Or course then I’m in love with all things plaid right now, too.
And these tea length cards? I’m dying here. Tree collages? Snowman smiles? Double-dog dares?
Good luck picking just one design.
This never gets old and is always appreciated. I love being able to personalize our calendar with pictures and special occasions to make it easy to remember all those dates.
I’m marching down to Walmart this week with the Dirty Half Dozen to snap our annual Walk of Shame pictures to share with friends and family. I’m trying to decide between 1) Merry Christmas from Small Appliances, or 2) Merry Christmas From Paper Goods: wishing you all a spare square.
(I apologize to the non-Seinfeld groupies out there who have no idea why I’m giggling right now).
And I’m looking forward to that bright orange box showing up on my door step … and curling up late one night with hot cider and White Christmas on DVD …
… and addressing those funky cards while the lights glow from across the street and across the room …
… and quietly remembering how magical and wonderful this time of year really is.
Want to join me? How does FREE sound?
I get to giveaway a set of 25 free Christmas cards to 3 lucky THRIVE readers!
AND … to make the deal even better:
All you bloggers out there can have a chance to get 25 free cards by registering here: http://goo.gl/DDw7Q
To win, just leave a comment about my Walk of Shame pictures and which random Walmart isle I should capture the magic.
I’ll draw the winners Wednesday, November 2nd at 10 pm Mountain time.
Happy sliding into the holidays, everyone! Be back tomorrow with the first of several Thanksgiving projects!
** I received free Shutterfly Christmas cards in exchange for writing this post and couldn’t be happier. But free isn’t worth it if it’s crap, so my recommendation is based on my past, very awesome experiences with Shutterfly and my excitement to hook my amazing readers up with the same bit of holiday loot.