The Christmas cards I actually ordered before Thanksgiving arrived today. I admit I was kind of hoping I had exaggerated the not-so-greatness of the photo in my mind. I hadn't. There they were, my four children squinting through the sunshine with forced smiles on their overexposed faces. It's amazing how I can get such wonderful shots of my children individually but put them all together and it's hopeless. I think next year, I may just pick a great individual shot of each of them and do a type of collage. Or maybe actually splurge for a professional photo. Imagine that.
But this year, in an effort to fore go my quest for a perfect Christmas in exchange for a peaceful one, I am sending them as they are. And the picture isn't horrible exactly, it just fails to capture all their gorgeous personalities. Which I doubt anyone would appreciate quite as much as me anyway.
Which brings us to the next part of the Christmas Card process - the annual newsletter. Several years ago, I decided it would be fun to write a newsletter updating the world on what we had been up to that year. Yes, I actually thought it would be fun. I only had two children at the time, and I must have not settled into my roll as "The Family Scrooge" yet.
And I think it was fun the first year. But what no one tells you is once you have decided to enter the world of Christmas Newsletters, there is no returning to the simple days of stuffing a photo in an envelope. Unwittingly I had added one huge item - recap our entire year in a witty, non-boring letter that doesn't sound too much like the previous year, and keep it as short as possible so someone might actually read it - to my Holiday to do list.
And every time I suggest that I might not write a letter that year, a handful of people - most of whom live in this house - let out a loud protest. Oh, and my mother-in-law. She loves the letter. Bless her proud Gramma heart.
But I am finding it increasingly difficult to be witty or original or interesting. And I wonder if anyone - besides my mother-in-law, of course - even enjoys receiving them.
So I am asking you, my bloggy friends, do any of you write a newsletter? And if you receive them, do you like it? I understand by asking people who read/write blogs that I am asking a portion of the population that generally likes reading about other's lives, but I would still like to hear your thoughts.
And today I am thankful for Brandon. I stay on his case more than any of my children because he is, well, a fifteen year old boy. But every night when I am making dinner, he helps me occupy the weekids. Most of the time, without complaint. And sometimes, like tonight, he volunteers to do things like give baths, or feed dinners. And I am grateful for him. For many reasons of course, but tonight particularly so, because he preserves my sanity.