Christmas cards went in the mail last week, and a few are going in this week. Christmas cards are an interesting phenomenon. I don’t remember getting many growing up, and I don’t remember our family doing one. Now we spend weeks preparing them (and by “we” I actually mean the Googer fam) and actually have a spot in the house to display the ones we get. We also keep the cards we received in boxes for that magic day when we . . .look through them, I guess. (?)
So, if you did not receive it, or haven’t received it, here it is!
(You’ll notice that it is the same picture that now sits to the right on this page, as each year I usually take some part of the Christmas picture photo shoot and make it the image on the blog.)
We really do spend weeks getting that thing together. It’s ridiculous, but we love it. Pictures happened over a month ago (twice, because the first round stunk—Asher got a haircut in between photo rounds). Then, we get our dear friend Quinn (who also takes the pictures) to help us design a card (why give the money to Tiny Prints when we can give it to Quinn?). It’s a little more expensive than just the plug-and-play card, but worth it to us. From there we try and form an appropriately self-deprecating Christmas letter that makes us the non-envy of every man, woman, and child we know. (We actually started working on that while driving to Texas for Thanksgiving and then made edits into early December.) While I was in Kentucky, Courtney was addressing envelopes.
The next part is a doozie. After everything is addressed, we make two stacks: mine and Courtney’s. Mine is always about twice as high as Courtney’s, which isn’t fair because of how terrible my handwriting is and good hers is (seriously, people have already told me they couldn’t read what I wrote—you’re welcome). Every card gets some type of personalization. Even if it is just a “We love you,” or, “Blessings,” or, “Merry Christmas.” I actually think I just scribbled on one card this year—literally (you’re welcome, Evan). Some get more, some get less, but all of them get something. We will sit for hours and work through it.
(Funny story: two years ago I wrote to some friends on their card to go back overseas as missionaries. I just said “Go back to [wherever the country was].” This year we are sending it to them in said country. Kinda cool. They had been praying about heading back the same time they got the card.)
This year, after all that was said and done, Ethan helped me affix stamps. That was a first. Only three stamp casualties in the process, and one of them might’ve been my own. Then, I took the boys to the post office on Bluebonnet, and we spent a few minutes stuffing the mailbox together.
And that, my friends, is the journey of the Christmas card. When it is all said and done, we go back to our address book we keep online, and mark what we sent. I’ve been keeping a list for three years so that we can order the correct amount for the following year (like a true nerd).
It is more work than it needs to be, but we love it. We do it because it connects us to old friends and new ones. Even if momentarily, Courtney and I will get texts from friends or comments from people at church that mention they got the card and appreciated it—they got a laugh out of our letter, they liked the card, or were grateful for the little personalization. All that is worth it to us, and we gladly spend the time on it.
Merry Christmas from us. If you made it this far down then you’ll get to see the back of the Christmas card as well.