Several years ago . . . scratch that. At least a decade ago, I stopped sending Christmas cards. I didn’t mean to stop sending them forever, but it seems to have turned out that way. Life got in the way. I was busy commuting, working, raising a child and avoiding the grocery store. I bought the cards that year and they stayed right there in their neat little boxes. Every year since, at some point I experience a flash of guilt. Usually it’s when I start getting cards in the mail from all of those people who are so kind as to send us pictures of their beautiful families, smiling, and wishing us a Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, Happy New Year! You know who you are. Nevertheless, the cards remain in their neat little boxes up in our attic.
Our attic is full of guilt-inducing good intentions. In addition to unsent greeting cards, it is stacked with boxes of jumbled up photos from before iPhones and iPhoto and iHaveDigitalPicturesOfEverythingOnMyHardDrive. My child’s babyhood is in there. I really should put them into some sort of order and then into albums or the Poor Thing will never be able to prove he existed before we got our first digital camera in 2004. There are books boxed up for our move four years ago that I can’t throw away, because we don’t throw out perfectly good books and so I should sort them for donation to someone. And then there are bins of old electronics, cables, wires, software discs and manuals that I can’t pitch because they would be bad to put in our landfill so they should be recycled but who has time to figure out where to take them for recycling??? And I have no idea what to do with the pile of (sometimes) beautiful memories that is my son’s artwork from elementary school. I can’t just throw them away, can I?
As the boxes of things that I really should do something about co-mingle with my pangs of guilt over failing to send out Christmas cards (and birthday cards and correspondence of any kind, really), the damning flames of anxiety are licking at my heels. And so, my Dear Ones, please accept my heart-felt apology for the the years and years of failure to send a picture of our decorated tree, the cat, my son and our smiling faces to you. Please know that I have thought of each of you every year and sent you good wishes via ESP as I guiltily failed to send you a card. However, the odds are that my burdened heart will not change my errant ways, so please don’t judge too harshly when no card appears in your mailbox this year.
Wouldn’t This Have Been a Cute Card 9 Years Ago?