I know what you’re thinking…That I’m a complete and utter Grinch. Or, you may quite possibly be giving me an invisible “high-five.” Several years ago, I posted on my personal Facebook page about why I will not be sending Christmas cards this year, and I was shocked at the response. I’m certainly not alone. People seem to feel strongly about it one way or another. For some, sending Christmas cards is pure joy and for others it’s sheer stress. I get it. Part of me is torn, wanting to reciprocate. The other part of me, well…
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Here are five reasons NOT to send holiday cards this year:
1. Experience Joy
I’m not necessarily the crafty type who loves taking and editing the perfect holiday photos, then finding the best app or online software such as Shutterfly, searching the gazillion designs, ordering the precious photo cards, then addressing those cards to my 50+ closest family and friends with my best glitter pens. I don’t fall into that camp. At least not right now. And to be totally honest, I’m a tad jealous at those who do.
Ever since I KonMari’d (organizing made easy) my closet, I ask myself if what I’m doing or what I possess brings me joy. Sending holiday cards simply does not qualify as joyful to me. In fact, it really stressed me out then and still stresses me out now. However, I was in a season of life where I had two young kids. Truth be told, I absolutely dreaded it then! In that moment, I realized that in order to say “yes” to self-care/less-stress, I had to say “no” to holiday cards.
Now, several years later I’m entering a new season and phase of life — I have one child going off to college in 8 months (gasp!). I still didn’t send cards this year, however, I’m getting the itch that perhaps as I became closer to being an empty nester, I just may want to fill some of that void reconnecting through Christmas cards.
2. Say NO to Obligation
How many of us feel obligated to send cards? Let’s just get this straight right now. No one, nope, not even you, are legally or morally obligated to send those adorable holiday cards. Even if Great Aunt Mary is severely disappointed, that’s her problem, not yours! Well, OK…. This is where it becomes complicated, right? Even I feel bad for Great Aunt Mary because she probably isn’t on Facebook and wants to decorate her fridge with your card.
As an alternative, maybe send one card with the kids school pictures slipped in. But that’s it! Seriously though, we all have enough to do in our lives, that if you simply don’t want to send a holiday card, then just don’t. But promise me you won’t feel guilty about it? Then, repeat after me 10 times: “I’m worthy, I’m loved and I’m good enough.” Because you ARE. Holiday cards or not. ♥
3. Reclaim Your Time
Look, if knitting or adult coloring books is your “thing,” then spend your time doing that instead. Really, it’s OK. Do what you love. Perhaps with all the stress during the holidays you need to take a relaxing bath (or two or three), go to the gym or enjoy a massage. Then, do that instead!
Now, don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying, be completely selfish and only do things for yourself this Christmas. However, you do need to prioritize yourself high on the list for self-care. Take the time for yourself to re-energize. Because when you do what you love, you will experience joy and shine your light on others.
4. Christmas (or insert holiday you celebrate) is Not Your Jam
Maybe this holiday is just not your holiday, for whatever reason. Or, you really LOVE the idea of spreading more love on Valentines Day, like one of my dear friends. Well, then do what you love and send out Valentines Day cards instead! Imagine the fun surprise for friends and family who receive a non-traditional, holiday card out-of-the-blue.
With a married last name of Irish decent, I had thought of sending St. Patrick’s Holiday cards. But then guess what I realized? That didn’t bring me joy either. So I don’t. But if another holiday moves you, then go with it. Follow your joy.
5. You Can’t Keep It Simple
Setting boundaries is not always easy, even for ourselves. So if it doesn’t come naturally for you to have a completely organized set of holiday address labels, with accompanied stamps and glitter pens all ready to go, then perhaps this is the year to focus on something else. Just sayin’ because that’s totally me. It always feels like an after-thought which is the exact opposite of what it should be.
If I send something to someone, I really want to be mindful of what I’m doing. So, if it’s easy for you to pull up a thoughtful and cute photo on your phone, add a fitting digital sticker and BAM! Holiday cards are done. Then, yes. Go for it sister! I admire you. Truly.
At the end of the day, do what feels right to YOU.
If sending cards fills you with love and joy, perfect!
If not, that’s OK too. Who knows, maybe your husband has the beautiful penmanship or is the photo whiz. Perfect! Let them take a stab at it this year.
Just promise me this one thing–That you will take care of yourself during the busy (and often stressful) holiday season.
Does it bring you JOY or PAIN to send Holiday cards? Our readers want to hear your story below.
Peace, Love, Joy!