I’ve been getting our Christmas Cards together. I still like sending them, because I like making up the annual family newsletter, but I’m starting to feel kind of weird about sending them because almost no one else does. And no judgement! It’s a lot of work and people just don’t exchange cards like they used to. I remember back when Sir Monkeypants and I lived in our first house – this would be at least 15 years ago – we’d get so many cards each year that I had them strung on ribbon all up and down our bannister. Now, if we get ten cards a year we’re lucky (and five of those come from my mother, who buys each of us the most beautiful card each year).
I was working on them last night and my youngest was helping out by putting on stamps and return address stickers, and she asked me how many cards I thought we might get in return, and I had to brace her for probable disappointment. She’s HEAVILY into Christmas and traditions and holidays in general. I’m sure when she grows up she’ll be sending out packets of cards with joy and delight. I will do my part and send one to every member of her family so she gets at least six or seven (I’m betting on her having at least a full handful of kids).
It’s a good thing that she is so into traditions because I find I am losing enthusiasm for the whole thing, at least this year. I just feel tired all the time. Remember when I used to bake up ten different kinds of cookies, and make mixed tins for every family we’d be visiting over the holidays? Remember when I started shopping in October, putting together ideas lists and combing the stores for just the right thing for each person, whereas now I hit Toys R Us on one Saturday in December and pick up whatever is on sale? Remember when I wanted all the lights on our house, and now I’m happy with one of those laser light shows and a sparkly snowflake in the window?
This year it was my youngest who pulled out all the decorations and put them up, and decorated the tree on her own. She’s done most of my wrapping so far and as mentioned, is helping with cards. I’m sure she’d do the baking for me if I asked her, while I’m happy to just sit with my David’s Tea Advent Calendar Tea of the Day (BEST THING ABOUT THE HOLIDAYS EVER). She’s anchoring the team. Go Little Miss Sunshine!
I do tend to blame Girl Guides for a lot of things – feeling tired and burned out and having all my creative energy going to that one thing. Work has been super busy and for me that’s both busy and creative, too. So I get why the days of me doing a daily craft or Christmas activity with the kids are maybe over.
But secretly I’m hoping that next year will be different. I’ll take less work in December, I think to myself. I’ll be done with Girl Guides, I promise. And then maybe I’ll feel those same old cinnamon sparks that encourage me to bake, and light evergreen scented candles, and pore over flyers looking for just the right gift for everyone on my list.
Next year, I whisper.