Thursday, December 11, 2008

It's beginning to feel a lot like Christmas...

I used to love everything about Christmas. But that was years ago when my kids were little.
It was fun. It was hopeful. There was an air of expectation and peace.
Checking the weather and hoping for snow on Christmas day. The wood stove keeping us nice and cozy. Baking cookies and fruitcake. The fun of finding just the right gifts for everyone and planning the meal for Christmas lunch. Baking and decorating the "Baby Jesus birthday cake" which was always our dessert after Christmas dinner. Because Jesus is the reason for the season.
And even writing out dozens and dozens and dozens of Christmas cards. I liked it. I really did.

Well, in some ways, it's nice that the Christmas card list has been pared down a bit, mainly because of the cost. It's just way too expensive to send dozens of cards to the US.. at $1.00 a card. And when I used to do my Christmas cards, it was never just "a card". There was always a letter, or at least a hand-written note enclosed. But from Australia, if you enclose a letter in that card to the US..., the postage goes UP. Way up.

So I've pared the list right down. Most of my old friends and I keep in touch by email nowadays and they understand the need for me to keep the list to a minimum. I can't afford 50+ cards at a dollar apiece. So we just send emails to each other, instead.

But what I dislike... thoroughly, totally dislike... are the obligatory cards that I feel forced to respond to. You know... people that you have little in common with, who never bother with you ( or you, them) for most of the year and you start to think.. "whew, at least I won't have to send a card to Mary and Bob this year."
And then it arrives.

" Wishing you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year."
and it's signed with lots of love and X's and O's... from Bob and Mary

What? Excuse me? You've almost crossed the street every time you've seen me coming, you're perfunctory and dismissive when I call... and if I call and you're not home, you never return the phone call? You talk about me behind my back and have been less than a friend to me since last years Christmas card... So what's up here?
As Marvin Gaye so eloquently said.... "What's Goin' On?"
You're sending me hugs and kisses? You love me at Christmas time?

I'm being strong this year. I'm being firm this year. I won't be sending a card in return, just because Mary and Bob sent me one. You can bet your sweet bippy on that one.
I can't afford it, I can't see the point, and I hate being a hypocrite at this joyous time of year.

That's all I have to say.
Okay, I need to get to the store and buy another box of Christmas cards now.
I have another card I need to get sent out. *sigh*


Andrea said...

Good for you! We need to keep the things in our life that have meaning for us....whether it's emails, christmas cards, or what have you. It's not the medium that's the meaning behind it. Our time in this world is too short to spend so much of it on obligations...

ps...hope the cats are doing well. :)

Narelle Nettelbeck said...

Well I did a crazy thing and not only decided to send cards this year, but I hand made each of them!! Only managed 20 but it is the thought that counts afterall!

Sherri said...

I know exactly what you mean Katie, did you notice my myspace friends? I must of cut the amount of friends on there in half, and may be thinning it out some more. Why should I waste my time sending messages, when they won't message back. Of course I'll keep family members,even though they never come on anymore. You know who I'm talking about...hahaha

Tatersmama said...

Andrea... I feel so much more relaxed about Christmas this year... because the burden is GONE!
The kitties are doing fine, although it was touch and go with Wally for a few days.

Narelle... Good for you, girl! It may have taken extra effort, but it was a labor of love, wasn't it?
*hugs* ( I will call when things quiet down a bit...HA!)

Sherri... LOL..Let me tell ya. If family members were "friends" I would have deleted them off myspace a long time ago. lol! Even my plaintive yahoo IM's get ignored, but what's a mother to do?.
Tell that sweet sister of yours to expect a couple of boxes and some cards at the P.O. soon. *wink*

Pam said...

I stopped sending cards a couple of years ago. With computers, emails, and cell phones, I pretty much stay in touch with everyone, anyway.

Sooziebelle said...

We actually KNOW a Bob and Mary!

Last year I got a Christmas card from an old friend in the US and was thrilled to get it, as they had moved and not only did I not know their new address until the card arrived, but I had not heard from Leslie in a couple of years. I was so excited as I opened the envelope, but inside was just a card, one of those photo cards from Wal-Mart with a picture of her kids on it. Nothing written on the back, no "Hope you have a good year", even. It bummed me out to the point where I have decided not to send her one this year. Probably that sounds terrible, but there ya go.

It's like my sister-in-law Leonie giving me a little paper drawer sachet for my birthday. On the one hand I think, "Well at least she thought of me!" but the second thought to arrive was, "But she doesn't think much of me!" Nothing says "I love you" like a drawer sachet!

And contrastingly, my students would give me all sorts of gifts ... a bruised apple that had been kicking around in their bookbag for a week, a "Warhead" sour candy, a drawing that said, "Yor the beast art teacher eever". And I loved them all.


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