I apologize if you haven’t received a Christmas card from me in the mail, especially if you sent me one, But the truth is, I didn’t send them out this year. In fact, I haven’t sent them but one time since we first moved here over five years ago. The worst part is I don’t even know why I haven’t sent them out.
I used to always send out Christmas cards. Oh, and I’ve saved the ones we’ve received like, from forever.
Filed away with our other Christmas decorations and paraphernalia in large boxes stored in the garage, are the years 2002-2012. Every year I lament when the first cards arrive in our mailbox, “I really should send out Christmas cards this year.” But, I don’t and why don’t I?
Well, as is true with many things in life, I wait around and miss out on the good cards.
That, or the ones I really like are outrageously expensive and don’t quite convey the message I want to say. Oh! I think I’d especially like to include a photograph with these imaginary Christmas cards that I plan to send out each year. That alone is daunting.
The last time I can remember sending out cards, in 2008, Katie had just moved back in with us after graduating from LSU.
The next year she applied for nursing school and began in 2010. She graduated this year (2012) and now has a job AND a new husband. So we’ve had a few changes in our family. But in 2008, I did send a photo of us three standing in front of a huge Christmas tree.
For the last two years, I kept putting off picture-taking and card-sending, but Katie was engaged by then to Michael.
I sort of felt like they needed to send out their own cards, but I didn’t want to pry – okay, I DID want to pry, but I DIDN’T do it.
But this year – ahhhh, this year, I have no excuse.
You see, I have beautiful photos of Katie and Michael’s October wedding inside our beautiful church at the majestic altar.
Our dear friend and photographer, Chuck Gee, did an awesome job. So about a month ago, I decided to DO IT: send out cards with the wedding photo of our entire Ipock family: Russell and I, Katie and Michael, Kelly and Chuck and Madison and Carly, from Raleigh. Sadly, I could not get the photo to download. I was going to send it electronically to CVS.
I’ve done this many times, but it wouldn’t work.
Then I took my flash drive over to the photo lab, but forgot to make multiples of this one special 4 x 6.
Next, I considered Snapfish, Shutterfly or Vista Print, but the deadline had passed.
Plus, I couldn’t find any cards with the built-in frame to surround the photo. Self-doubt set in and I began to waver, thinking, “Anyway, who sends out wedding photos at Christmastime?”
I thought it was a swell idea, but, was it, really, since I’d never seen it done?
The day before Christmas, would you believe we got a card just as I’m describing from our dear friends, the Husseys, in Myrtle Beach, with Natalie’s wedding photo?
Then it hit me! I COULD do the same thing. But it’s true I was out of time, and where would I get cards at this late hour?
The day after Christmas, I was shopping in our new Hobby Lobby, which is an absolute wonderland for any craft enthusiast, seamstress, hobbyist, scrap booker, decorator, organizer, etc. (you get the picture, right)? Lo and behold, there they were – not just any Christmas cards, but TWO BOXES of the ones that almost perfectly matched the wedding invitation – ivory with black swirls and a merlot ribbon (the color of the bridesmaid’s dresses.) I couldn’t believe my eyes.
Again, I tried to send the order to CVS electronically and this time – I am not making this up – my ding-dong laptop informed me that I had a dead battery.
When I tried to buy one, Batteries Plus said it had to be ordered and would take two business days to get here.
Argh! Best Buy (where I bought my laptop three years ago) said they don’t carry laptop batteries, adding that I needed to go to the store where I bought the laptop.
Duh! I bought it from THEM! I went back to CVS, this time with my flash drive, and there was a long line of people waiting for the photo lab.
So, by the time you read this, Christmas will have come and gone by a full week. It’s now New Year’s. I told hub-Russ this story on my way to church this morning and he just shook his head.
“Only YOU, Ann,” he said. “What do you mean by that?” I asked. “Well, you send out cards for every other holiday: Valentine’s, Easter, 4th of July, Halloween and Thanksgiving – but you miss Christmas – “ I cut him off with, “But – is it too LATE to send them out for this year?” He said, “Well, since it’s Dec. 30, yes, I would say so.” Phew!
So, here’s your card in the form of a column. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from us two remaining Ipock’s, Prissy Pollyanna and Oscar the Grouch.
Ann Ipock – Life is Short, I Wish I Was Taller email@example.com www.annipock.com.
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