I sent Christmas cards for the first time ever.
I sent Christmas cards for the first time ever this year.
Every year I think about doing it, usually briefly, and then dismiss the idea. I mean, it’s one of those things adults should probably do. Like buying a Swiffer and making unprompted dentist appointments. But sending Christmas cards always seemed like too much effort.
You have to buy the cards. The perfect cards. You have to sign the cards. With the perfect greeting. You have to gather everyone’s addresses. And not forget anyone. And then put all of those addresses on envelopes. And you have to figure out how one mails things. Because I honestly couldn’t remember the last time I mailed something.
The idea of sending Christmas cards was just exhausting.
And, I’m not going to lie, I didn’t even like getting Christmas cards.
It’s not that I didn’t like the cards, or appreciate them, they were just not something I cared about getting. I’d open the envelopes, take a few seconds to look at the card, read the message, and then they’d end up in a pile that I’d rarely look at again, destined for the trash. Or (sorry everyone) just go straight into the trash.
And so why would I waste my time sending something to others that I didn’t even enjoy getting for myself?
And then…I got cats.
And when I got cats I thought to myself, wouldn’t it be funny to send photo Christmas cards with my cats on them? You know, like those ones my friends with actual babies are always sending? (BTW, those cards never went straight in the trash. I mean, I’m not a monster.)
And so I decided that, this year, I was going to send cat photo Christmas cards because what else shows your friends the joy of Christmas more than seeing how deep into cat lady-dom their single friend has fallen by sending photos of her cats in the mail?
So I bought cat Christmas costumes and took approximately one million photos to get one good photo of my cats wearing said costumes. And then I ordered photo cards from Walgreens that were available to pick up in less than an hour. And I reached out to my friends to gather addresses and put a call out on Facebook and Instagram to gather more. And I went to the craft store to buy markers and stickers. And I signed 44 cards. And I addressed 44 envelopes (OK more like 50 because sometimes I can’t spell). And I spent like 10 days in line at the post office to buy stamps.
And then I put 44 Christmas cards addressed to people in 34 cities and towns in 15 states and 5 countries around the world into the mailbox.
I was really excited to send out those cards. I was happy to share my love of my babies with the world and hoped the ridiculousness of my cards would make my friends laugh. But something else happened along the way: I got really excited to get Christmas cards in return.
Normally I only check my mailbox once or twice a week but I found myself checking every time I walked by, sometimes two or three times a day (even though I knew my mailman only came once, around 5pm). There was joy in that anticipation. There was joy in that reciprocation. There was joy in getting something delivered to me that wasn’t a credit card offer.
And when I did get a card I would open it right away and instead of them going into a pile or a trash can I’ve been hanging all the cards up using the clips from my travel photo wall.
So I guess sometimes you have to do something yourself in order to realize its significance to others. And I guess sometimes you have to do something yourself in order to change your mindset.
And I guess you should always send Christmas cards with your cats on them.