I Don’t Even KNOW Half These People*
*A small homage to what is possibly one of the greatest Christmas songs of all time.
It’s January 5! I know what you’re thinking – haven’t bloggers been posting holiday content since Halloween? I meant to get this post up just before Christmas, but the problem with that was I barely had my cards in the mail by December 25. Just not on my holiday correspondence game this year, you guys. Between moving off-island and seeing my husband pretty much only on weekends (and spending said weekends house hunting), not only did I not have a chance to schedule a festive family photo shoot for all of us, but I was just completely out of ideas this year for a theme. Unfortunately, we can’t always have the perfect concept that just comes to us out of nowhere one day and seamlessly fits into the pop culture ether a la 2015.
If you haven’t heard, Christmas cards are kind of a thing for me. For us. A staple of my childhood (and also, my adulthood). Years ago, I wrote a series of posts going through my family’s long history of holiday photo shoots, including a card deemed “inappropriate” by my grandmother and a special edition megacard for the 20th anniversary of our annual Christmas cards. Since Steve and I have been together, we have strived for the same level of festive excellence. I think we’ve done a pretty good job so far, none of which has been recorded on the internet because I have yet to digitally archive our own collection of holiday greetings. I’ll get around to it at some point (maybe for our own ten-year anniversary of sending Christmas cards – is that a thing?).
I was feeling a little down in the holiday dumps this year, especially once I ended up with a terrible cold mid-December. I was supposed to go to Nantucket and help Steve pack our apartment, and I figured while I was there I would enjoy a little bit of the classic Christmas spirit that the island does so well. Unfortunately I was so sick, I ended up staying at my in-laws in my pajamas and feeling sorry for myself. The most festive thing I did was watching the worst of the worst of Hallmark movies. Finally, after more than two days of the cold from hell, I came to my senses (maybe it was all the made-for-TV-movie inspiration) and decided I had to figure out our holiday card immediately (keep in mind it was December 17). But since I had no photo or witty tagline, I was kind of stuck.
One idea I had in my mind as a backup was to incorporate a painting that I had done of Schooner earlier this year by the uber-talented Meredith Hanson. Honestly, she is just about the sweetest human I have ever met, and like I said, so gifted in the art department. I had been following her on Instagram for awhile before I asked her to create a special picture done of Schoon for Steve’s birthday. We’ve been together for over twelve years now, and after a while, there are just only so many gifts you can get each other. This seemed like something way more personal that wasn’t just a “thing,” it’s something we can display in our home someday (and luckily, Steve temporarily loaned it to me to take with me to the mainland for when I was missing the little furry guy).
I decided for the sake of space to leave the boots out of this particular card, as that was more of an ode to Steve and his love of all things L.L. Bean. Luckily she had scanned it before framing, so when I reached out to her for a copy it was as easy at plunking the image in Photoshop, writing out a little message, and done.
Well not done done, of course, because it wouldn’t be the holiday season without a little drama. I could not figure out for the life of me where to get these suckers printed. I’ve used Snapfish in the past, and Vistaprint as well, but it was so late in the season that even with expedited shipping, I wasn’t going to get them until December 21 at the earliest. I know some of those companies will do a pickup in the store situation, but all the ones I researched would only print it on photo paper and I wanted something with a heavier weight to it (I know, beggars can’t be choosers, I get it).
After posting about my conundrum on my Insta story, low and behold, the internet came through. I don’t care what Steve says, they are my real friends! Multiple people responded to my story and said I should look into Staples which I was kind of like ehhh I don’t know… and then one special follower alerted me that there was a Groupon deal online for printing holiday cards there and I ended up getting 100 cards for $25. I don’t think even with all the deals I’ve done with Snapfish over the years have I ever gotten my cards for that cheap. I’ve always spent at least $75 and that’s not including stamps (and yes, I’m aware that it is crazy that I still send out one hundred cards, and you know what? I don’t care).
So I dragged myself off the couch and away from the television, shoved a few cough drops in my purse, and headed over to Staples with a flash drive and a dream (and tried not to touch anything). And that dream came true just four hours later – no shipping charges or time wasted. The paper wasn’t as heavy as I normally like to get, but it was definitely a step up from photo paper (and again, BEGGING). I sat down and banged out the first twenty-five or so that night, and each evening when I got home from work just addressed a few more, and then another couple, and eventually I was done!
And yes, I picked up a couple of metallic Sharpies for good measure. Also I couldn’t resist the new Hanson Christmas CD – their first one is SO GOOD (this one is okay).
As for the text? I literally Googled “holiday pet cards” and wrote down every tagline I liked, eventually picking the one that made Steve wince with embarrassment the least. “Paws & Enjoy the Season” was cute, but not predictably so, and just a general reminder that even though things aren’t perfect, and sometimes, you’re living in your husband’s high school bedroom amongst racks of your clothes while an ocean divides you from your two best guys and your future is completely uncertain, but there’s still good things out there in world and maybe you’re just too focused on what’s not going right to see them.
Or maybe it’s just an excuse to put a picture of a cute pup on something, I don’t know. Whatever it is, I’m happy with how they came out considering how rushed they were, and trust me – I am channeling all of this very important energy into next year’s edition.
A little disclaimer to everyone that received this card – I didn’t write anything on the back. Like not one personal message, not even to my parents. I was just so behind with getting them out, that I knew if I took the time to put something on each one, I would never get them done.
This holiday season just kind of reaffirmed for me that I was so ready for 2017 to be over. It definitely felt like a more stressful December than I’ve experienced in a while, and I am just really looking forward to the fresh start that a new year brings. Hopefully in December 2018, I’ll be writing this post from a home with a gargantuan tree and the most festive (but tasteful) holiday decor you ever did see.