Not because I don’t like you. I never finish my cards. Ever. Somewhere in the recesses of a closet lies a box of unsent wedding thank yous from a dozen years ago–I was so appreciative I wrote novels. I paused to include black & whites hand-picked specifically for each note and found small mementos requiring a slightly bigger envelope, which I hand-calligraphied…
Defeated by vision and distraction, the cards lie in wait.
This happens every Christmas. Some years I plan cards for New Years. A couple of times I aimed for summer solstice. This year, I skipped cards entirely and sent a pile of small boxes and gifts.
I got a few cards from people who are much better than me. Cheryl, Cat, Herb and Su, and my Mom always send a real card. Elly, my dear friend and accountant includes a calendar so I remember to I pay my taxes on time.
The bulk of the cards on the mantle are from Declan’s classmates. I pretend they’re mine. It’s tough to hang holiday emails.
I love cards with pictures of families, but I wonder why parents always cut themselves out. We get old, too. I have five grey hairs containing the wisdom of 2013. I want to show them off. I look like an adult now. I don’t get carded often. I’ve aged gracefully. I clean up well if I have to. That’s what you’d see if I sent you a card.
I wish I saw people in person more. I’ve promised not to say that anymore, because the truth is, life gets away from me no matter where people live. I rarely see my friend an hour down the road, and I’ve been texting my friend two doors down. That’s only slightly more forgivable than texting someone in the next room.
It always seems easier to visit tomorrow and send a text or email today. I check Elly’s calendar to find “tomorrow,” so I can block out visits with real people. I keep hunting, because “tomorrow” isn’t anywhere on the pages.
Phone calls are no better. These days, I schedule them. I caught up with one childhood friend this week but have a call pending that’s been hanging out there for two years. If that seems excessive, just know it’s been a busy two years.
An assistant won’t help. It didn’t make me any more organized in my first life, but it was cool to hang out and get reminded of all the work I didn’t do.
“Did you finish your cards?”
I like cards with holiday newsletters, especially the ones people sign in human form–I authenticate signatures. My mom sends one. Since I already know what happened, I read it to see if I got more mentions than my brother and sister. That’s how I know I’ve had a good year.
Since I didn’t send cards, here’s a post including links from Christmases past. Pull up some egg nog. Enjoy the blessings of this and all the other holidays I haven’t properly acknowledged. Be well, be blessed. Savor the gifts of the universe, be they small or great. Thank you for sharing this year with me and being among my greatest gifts.
“Best Christmas Posts from The Last Two Years When I Didn’t Send Your Card.”
Here’s where I complain that customs ruined Sarah’s Christmas surprise, and next I fail to send gifts for Declan’s classmates at school. Speaking of zero surprises, I bought a couch this year, which can’t be wrapped and put under the tree. On Christmas morning we’ll see the dog didn’t eat it. We’ll yell, “Surprise! Merry Christmas!”
In this post, I forget what I ordered from Amazon, so it feels a little like Christmas, even though it’s fall. Here, I try to organize the list but fail. Here’s where I promise to finish your cards in order of religion, not alphabet. Epic fail again.
The boy is still reciting Scrooge by the version now and asking why there is no sequel. He does this all year. Our snow has been melted by freakish weather. I’m reminded by Sarah, the Australian, that Christmas isn’t owned by New England, and some people decorate with sea shells and wait for Beach Santa.
These 2012 and 2013 posts reflect upon the day before Christmas vacation–a tough one for teachers. I’ve kept my vow never to use glitter again. Reading through posts, I see my mind’s in a better place this year, though I’m thrilled Declan wants to give me–“world peace and an end to human suffering.” It’s much appreciated. I sit by the fake tree looking at the ornaments that remind me of my childhood trees. Putting up the tree this year was a joy–a three-piece fake tree with lights included. Not one argument. Declan is trying to be good for Santa, although not so successfully at times. Last year, a chance run in with an elf helped carry the momentum. This year Santa sent an email.
Merry Christmas, Happy New Year and a Joyous 2014.
I hope you enjoyed your “card.”
It’s perfect, the perfect answer to why I, er, you, don’t send cards. I’d post the same, but except for the facts that I got more than five gray hairs this year and none of my three sons go by the name of Declan, it would be out and out plagiarism. Have a great 2014, and keep posting. I love your stuff.
Such an honor. That compliment came to me while I was in the line to change my car registration address. It might have been the longest moment of my life. How old are your sons–that’s impressive–I can’t even keep up with one.
Haha, they largely keep up with themselves these days. One has a fiancee and one has a serious girlfriend to help. They are 20, 21 and 24. The 21-year-old is getting married in May.
There was a time, as well you can imagine, that there was an awful lot of keeping up! I did home day care during their youngest years, went to college while they were in upper elementary, early middle school, then got the teaching gig just after the oldest graduated. I got to teach at my alma mater as the younger two came through as students, attending their concerts, pep rallies, ball games and everything. It was grand.
Oldest just graduated with two degrees, has been contract coaching for four years (at our school), and just passed two of his teaching certification tests. #2 will graduate in May and is looking into grad programs with the future wife all over the place, and #3 is a sophomore with big plans of his own.
Thanks for giving me a moment to brag. On my own blog, I focus on teaching and advising publications and never take the opportunity to do that.
I think you should talk about your family and experiences. How much fun is that? You have kids who are employed. You could have a whole blog about that. My mom also returned to school while I was in middle/high school, which meant I lost my bathroom in the AM. She has two degrees now and recently retired.
I find it hard to write seriously about teaching–I always do have a serious message, but there is so much out there in terms of data, lists, theories…for example Danielson. Nice stuff for self-reflection and improvement. Terrible for high-stakes evaluation. She said so herself. Reading 100 page manual on teacher eval made me want to cry. I can’t discuss data for student improvement without needing a flask anymore. So, I write about whatever I want to write about. And I always try to be nice. You should write about your family, even if they get a separate tab.
I always appreciate your conversations:)
Thanks for the encouragement. Because of our conversation, I spent the morning prowling through WordPress themes, trying to figure out how to get my blog to archive by category as yours does. Thought it required blogging magic. The magic happened when I finally found a theme that does that. I’m a pretty happy gal right now. New category: The Fam (or life or something …)
Oh, I’m sorry I didn’t answer right away, we could have connected. (dcaseyrowe@gmail) I am not a coder/learning as I go. WP has so much…with this blog theme, the reader can think one of two things, 1. “That girl is a genius and so zen. It’s a clean theme.” or 2. “That girl’s an idiot who can’t code.” The second would be true, but I’m learning more and more. It’s time to freshen it up or do something I’m not qualified to do. I’m going to check yours now…
I think it’s an important thing to have the threat of the pen to hold over kids. I’m totally going to write about that now….