As a graphic designer, Christmas cards are something I look forward to and plan far in advance.
This year’s “timeline” idea hit me in July when I was driving home from swimming lessons one day and was contemplating what an unusually eventful year we were having. I literally pulled the car over and started jotting down notes on my phone so I wouldn’t forget the ideas that started pouring into my brain.
Fast forward six months. Troy and I had a rather devastating (in my mind) discussion in December about how we simply couldn’t send out Christmas cards announcing our big move before he quit his current job. He didn’t want to risk the information being out in public too soon and leaking back to his company in an unforeseen way. While I completely understood where he was coming from, and even knew he was right, my Christmas card vision came to a crashing halt.
My choices were to A) send out a picture only in December with no information about our upcoming move, which drastically contributed to our whirlwind year, or B) wait until January to send out a card that was not only an efficient way to spread the relocation news but could also include our new moving address.
In the end, I settled for plan B even though it meant that I looked like one of those lame people who couldn’t get her act together to send out a card in December. I got this text from one of my friends on December 26th:
No Christmas card this year? It’s totally understandable, with all you have going on (how’s the house sale going?), but I’m bummed. I always love seeing your designs.
That right there made me second guess my decision. I mean, I knew I was being melodramatic for caring so much about a silly little card, but it broke my designer’s heart a little bit to know that there were people out there that were anticipating and relying on the annual gesture.
However, waiting until January to design the card actually freed up some time around Christmas for other pressing tasks like getting our house in market-ready condition and focusing on everything else that came with holiday prep.
I was thrilled when I finally got the green light from Troy to get the cards printed and sent out the third week of January. I’m sure holiday cards were packed away long before our friends and family received our card but I just couldn’t let the annual correspondence go altogether.
And so, with that incredibly long disclaimer, I present our 2014 Christmas New Year’s card.
A good friend of ours recently posted these words:
I want you all to know that, although it would have been too personal, raw, vulnerable—and probably would have brought intrusive but well-intentioned efforts to help—I wouldn’t love you any less if your Christmas Card letters had fessed up to the hard things in your life—that last year you felt lonely or infertile or inadequate, doubted your faith or marriage or self, that you grappled with a miscarriage or depression or debt or unemployment or parenting or addiction, and that, while you had many, many joys to celebrate and triumphantly overcame much adversity, there’s still an abundance out there with no end in sight. Just so you know.
I loved that so, so much. Christmas cards are a great opportunity share everything that is going well in our lives. I love pouring over cards and celebrating others’ achievements. But without going into a ton of personal detail that wouldn’t fit on a 5×7 card, I tried to be a little more real this year about our trials and blessings. 2014 was undoubtedly the hardest year of our lives. We suffered deeply and we were also blessed beyond our grandest expectations. While we are looking forward to the fresh start of 2015 and exciting changes ahead, we are putting all of our faith into the unknown. There are a lot of question marks about how it is all going to work out.
But we are ready to take it on. We are so grateful for the support, dear loved ones and blog readers. Let’s do this, 2015!