So the temperature dipped all of 10 degrees here in LA yesterday (don’t you worry, it’s going back up to 75 by the weekend) and I am using it as an excuse to get into the holiday spirit early. Personally, I am ready for Christmas year-round, have been known to crank “Santa Claus is coming to town” (Springsteen’s version, of course) in July, and believe in using “Santa is watching” as a disciplinary tool with Little D 365/24/7.
Where holiday confusion has come into play is with the cards. I was a religious card-sender for years, hand-writing notes to friends and family near and far on behalf of the two of us year after year. Until the year we had Little D. Even though it was like 8 months after her birth, I was still too tired and so we passed. And with every red and green envelope that dropped into our slot, I felt holiday guilt. Worse than Catholic guilt, I have heard, but I wouldn’t know because I am Orthodox. Last year, we were back in action, adding her little monogram to our send-off, excited to be signing for three.
But this year, I am thinking bigger. I am thinking brighter. I am thinking of a photo card. Now before you call me Xmas-zilla for obsessing, I did not grow up with this photo card phenomenon. We got nice, neat, hand-written greetings at my house and my mom would display them all along the mantel, but no one did photos. And even as I grew up and Flickr and digital cameras became the norm, still, my friends and family didn’t do photos. Then I moved to the States. And everyone was passing out pics like rum and egg nog – husband and wife; husband, wife and kids; husband, wife and dog; lady with cat…apparently a holiday greeting didn’t count unless you included a perfectly posed and primped photo, ideally taken on the beach if you lived in LA, inspiring envy among your friends and family in colder climates (who, by the way, have snow at Christmas, so they automatically win).
The problem? I thought they were cheesy. Card after card, no matter how cute or modern or whimsical, was cheesy. I didn’t get it. I asked around to my American friends – does everyone do these here? Why? No one knew why, they just did them. And loved them. Darling husband disagreed. Hates them. Especially a fridge door full of them, like at my in-laws.
And then something, somewhere in me shifted. Overnight. In October. Not a holiday decoration to be found yet. Maybe they are sweet. Maybe it’s nice for people miles away to see Little D and her amazing beauty year after year. Maybe it will save me hand-writing 100 cards with the same generic “wishing you well” message – always a fun idea when you start, red wine in-hand and Nat King Cole on the iPod, but really, a major pain in the ass.
Just maybe…so here I am, avoiding work and browsing Tiny Prints for the perfect 2009 photo card – possibly our first. Something simple and clean, because that’s our style. Something sweet and sincere, because I truly love the holidays so much. And most importantly – something that will sell darling husband on the idea.
Because I don’t, and never will, have a cat to pose with.