The Lee Family Christmas cards are in a pile waiting for addresses and Santa stamps and happy little words to sum up an entire year. I relish this task because I never do Christmas cards without a festive musical and champagne bubbly accompaniment. Also, I sort of delight in those moments when I think about the people on my list, the ones in my heart, (and the ones who sent me a card last year). I love holiday cards more than Christmas itself. Birth announcements, children getting cute, then all gawky, then cute again, long-winded essays about medical ailments and grandchild accomplishments, hey-we’re-on-a-boat!/ski-lift!/gondola!, card stock, theme stamps… the whole shebang.
To illustrate how freakishly fond I am of the ritual, I’ll share the fact that I send out 250 of them. I realize that because I am neither popular nor employed nor a Kennedy, this makes me ridiculous. But if I have your address, you’re getting the 2012 version of Brodie Hugs Teddy. And after the year I’ve had, and all of the resulting new friends in the worlds of Medicine, and Cancer, and Church, I’ll be spending more on stamps than Nerf Darts this month. These cards are another opportunity to pen a little thank you to anyone I might have forgotten. But as I look at the gigantic stack of Brodie Hugs Teddy, I’m wondering about the cards that go out to my thesis advisor, or great Aunt Pat, or my lab partner—the people who don’t… KNOW.
Although I love love love love long, single-spaced, tell-all, bragging, and even boring holiday card letter inserts, I am personally opposed to writing one. This is because I feel quite obligated to mock any holly-sprig-bordered form letter that flutters out of a lined envelope. It’s possibly the least Christian thing I do (another lie, I’m perfectly dreadful about plenty of other things), but I am unable to refrain from poking fun at a perfectly pleasant summation of a year. I find it great fun to read what someone deemed holiday-card worthy to share. Last year, great Aunt Pat’s was a dry memo about the inevitability of assisted living; a more distant-than-close acquaintance sent everyone on his list comprehensive beach house renovation details; one year my sister-in-law’s letter had a picture of her pool house, my children, and her uterus; and everyone gets at least one note with lots!! of !!! exclamation!!!! points!!!!! bordered with thirty-eight thumbnail pics of kids-on-holiday in addition to the twenty scanned onto the card, itself. (You know I adore it, Kir.)
But after a lifetime of gleeful giggling over Christmas letters, I’m wondering if Happy Holidays from the Lees! requires my own embarrassing missive on theme paper. It’s quite possible that my old boss (and everyone else who isn’t on Facebook) will just assume that I grew tired of long, awesome hair and chose to embrace a practical mom style. But in the spirit of (over) sharing, maybe these old friends would want to know what happened to us this year? In the end, I’ll err on the side of a simple signature, as every attempt to write one of these things is dreadful. I should really subcontract this out to Steve Safran, because this is what I’ve got:
Merry Christmas! We’re happy to see 2012 pass. Britt was diagnosed with breast cancer and slogged through the usual drill of surgery and poisons, wigs and hats, Holy Spirit shout-outs and blogging. Sending happy, haired messages of thankfulness and love from our home to yours.
Nearly Happy Holidays from the Lees. 2012 was a terrifying year for us. Frankly, we’re a little mystified why so many of you shun social networking, thus necessitating a holiday insert about Cancer. You can read all about it at http://www.eastmeetsbreast.com, but realize some of you are too busy/important/cool/retro to read about Britt’s Tragedy online. We hope you enjoy a Cancer Free Christmas.
Happy Holidays from the Lees! Britt had breast cancer! But now she’s fine!! Everything is great!!! Yay!!!!!
So I think I’ll keep Cancer out of the Christmas card.
Today at Bible study (yes, BIBLE STUDY), one lovely lady shared that she prays for each person on her list as she addresses her Christmas card envelopes. I love that image, and hope it’s one that rings with you, too… in whatever form prayer takes as you shovel stacks of letter-pressed and offspring-adorned cards into the post. I’ll be sending out 250 cosmic messages of love along with my Brodie Hugs Teddy. And all I want in return is some truly tell-all, boastful, misspelled missives peppered with alots. As crap 2012 comes to a close, I deserve a good giggle.