Monday, December 9, 2013

Christmas/Holiday Cards—A note on etiquette and why they are worth the hassle

Let me start by saying how thankful I am this year to have a loving family.

I am also thankful for a recent article by an etiquette master stating it IS okay to wish folks a Merry Christmas again. For a few years I’d stop myself mid-Merry even when wishing people I knew to be Christmas celebrants, because I did not want to insult anyone, and also because my brain was still catching up with the times.

Let’s be clear, it is probably not a good idea to wish your bubbe Merry Christmas. But, it does seem okay to wish folks Merry Christmas. Just try to be considerate when in the company of those you don’t know, makes sense.

You might wonder what all this has to do with cards. It means I can finally stop worrying so much when we send cards this year. We want to be respectful, but it’s also important to share an honest sentiment. So, send whatever holiday you celebrate cards to all your friends and family, and try to include a nice note. If you have a business contact or other person you aren’t sure about, send a more general holiday greeting.

Now, for the rest of the story. We almost did not get our annual holiday card photo this year. We take a photo because our kids are cute, and I force my husband and myself to participate so it feels like we’ve got at least one picture each year where we’re all together.

Moms, you know what I mean. There is a whole period of time where all the photos are of the child. Sleeping, smiling, crawling, crying, etc. There are probably thousands of our growing kids, but very few or none showing us. Okay, so I got a few with daddy doing sweet or silly stuff, but I was usually the one taking the photo—hiding my freakish hairdos and baggy eyes (at least a few months/years after baby’s arrival).

If nothing else, a once a year photo op like this forces me to get a haircut, shave my legs (although I sometimes wonder why) and buy/rediscover a nice shirt/outfit. Don’t ask me about shoes, it’s another story for another time (weeps a little).

So, this year we dragged a kid on the verge of a cold and another with a super case of the cranks, even though we discussed cancelling last minute, to the busiest place on earth this time of year and slapped our smiles on for the photog. A fun two hours later we packed the van with our exhausted, hungry family and headed home. Success! And Failure.

Would it have been wise to reschedule? Yes and no. Yes, but we were dressed and the car was warm. Rescheduling meant we probably would have missed our annual trek to the quickie pic place and an opportunity to see our children smile together, in the same picture, at the same time, with both eyes open and looking at the camera. Seriously, I don’t know how they do it, but they usually get some good shots no matter how hard we make it on them, and ourselves.

I say, pack the drinks, munchies, extra patience and a hairbrush and head to the studio. Or do it yourself, we did one year and it was hard and hilarious all at the same time. Your kids are probably growing faster than you realize. Just try to make the most with what you’ve got and smile. Say cheese! 

Note: This is not our actual holiday photo. It was taken on a good day in Frankenmuth though, and probably would have made a fun card.  

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