As a parent, as a spouse, as a daughter, a sister, etc. There is just so much excitement and magic in the air.
One thing I always enjoy about the holidays is sending and receiving Christmas cards.
Chris is in charge of thinking up and executing our family card, and he always knocks it out of the park.
As I sit here on my couch addressing the cards, herbal peach tea in one hand and a pen in the other, I feel a great sense of love and gratitude. Every address and name I write makes me smile as I think of that person or family and what they mean to us.
It’s easy to feel alone sometimes. Motherhood can be especially lonely. Life gets busy, you don’t get to see your friends as much, even having a 5 minute conversation with a girlfriend can often take 2 months to make happen.
But addressing these cards and seeing all these names is such a sweet reminder that even if I don’t get to see them or talk to them as much as I’d like to, they’re still there. And they’re in much the same situation that I am.
But much like Christmas, this feeling of loneliness and sometimes isolation is a season.
I know that I will miss the boys wanting me to read them stories and snuggle with them every night. And I know that dinner might not always be as long because they won’t care to jump up on chairs mid-way through and give us a Christmas concert.
This season is temporary, for all the good that it brings and the bad.
As I sit and think about my family and friends I wonder how I can be more intentional during the other 11 months of the year to try and fill that loneliness that sometimes creeps in.
One thing we’ve done in the past and we’ll do again this year, is to keep all the Christmas cards we receive and use them in the following way:
I rubber band them all together, and keep them in the kitchen in the same cabinet as the cups we use. (We open that cabinet multiple times a day so it makes this activity front of mind without any effort at all.)
Whichever card is in front is the family that we will think about and reach out to during the first week in January. This is not an opportunity to try and do something over the top – it’s just wondering how their Christmas went, maybe sending them an email to ask them. If it’s a close girlfriend, I’ll shoot her a quick text to ask how her day is going. If I tell myself I’m going to send a handwritten card, I won’t, and then I’ll feel defeated and won’t get any further in my stack than card 1.
So I keep this super, super simple.
The second week in January, I move on to the next card in the stack. Lather, rinse, repeat.
I find this is a good way to 1) extend the utility of the love and attention others put into sending us a card and 2) to remind myself during the year of all the love and support we have, even if we might not see or talk to our close friends for months at a time.
Even though Chris and I aren’t big on keeping a lot of “stuff” around, I do have a special place in my heart for Christmas cards. I have stacks from last year and 3 years previous.
Looking at how families grow and how quickly they change is my special reminder to enjoy this season with mine.
I hope you’ll do the same.
* Note – due to Christmas being next Thursday we will not be posting as usual. We will be enjoying time with family and friends but will be back the next week with another new Parents Who post. Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!