Sam and Kristie worked together to produce fabulously helpful Sporting Chic holiday gift guides that can be found in Kristie's Closet and Overtime. I'm gonna go in a different direction and rant about an annual Christmas frustration of mine that helps absolutely no one.
I can't deal with the Christmas Card situation at my house anymore. I can't deal with the fiasco of making our own card. I also can't deal with having no space on the kitchen counter because its littered with tons of pictures from people we haven't seen in 15 years. I'm sorry to be a grinch and I don't mean to rub anyone the wrong way, but this morning I literally WIPED OUT walking through the front door of my house on the pile of envelopes that fell underneath the mail slot. The Christmas Card situation in my mother's housewife world is nothing short of an epidemic and it needs to be stopped.
As you can probably tell I could go on all day, but here's a few main points that rattle my chain when it comes my family's Christmas Card situation.
1) Cards can be used as social weapons. For example, last Christmas I started running through the piles of Xmas cards to be sent out. My mother was planning on sending them to all three of my ex-boyfriends without telling me, in what I think was a backhanded attempt to get us to start talking again.
2) You know those people who when they post an Instagram, they start testing out filters and they only look at themselves? Yeah, my mom does that when picking out pictures for our card. Every year she picks the one where the boys look the best because she's obsessed with them and sabotages me.
3) The assembly line: The McCaffrey holiday card routine is a well oiled machine. Every year on card prep day, we go to the dining room and are assigned a job: The stuffer, (puts the card in) the presser, (imprints our return address) the licker, (seals the envelope) and the stamper. (sticks the postage stamp) My mother of course has no specific job. Instead, she acts as the overseer who paces back and forth, criticizing our quality and efficiency like Gordon Ramsey in Hell's Kitchen. To say getting through assembly day takes mental toughness is the understatement of the year. I always get stuck with the real bootstraps jobs (licking or stuffing) because I haven't "proven I can stick and press in a way that isn't crooked."
Next, here are the current trends in the Housewife Christmas Card world as a whole that upset me:
1) THE LETTERS. Since when is it a thing to include a short story with your holiday card. Paragraphs and paragraphs "updating" hundreds of recipients on what's going with every member of the family. But it's not necessarily the letters that I mind so much. All kidding aside, its actually nice to catch up on old friends and see how their doing. This isn't a rant against not wanting to hear about old friends. It's a rant against the societal pressure that has consequently been created. The letters make every parent who doesn't attach a novel to their picture look like they're not as interested in their kids lives. It also sets a dangerous precedent for whats to come. First it's just cards. Then its collages. Now its collages and letters. WHATS NEXT? Cardboards cutouts? Clay statues? I don't know what it will be, but I am definitely scared.
It is also worth noting that the card-accompanying letters are becoming a bit of a breeding ground for backdoor bragging. Some of them are just a résumé of the family's accomplishments disguised in fancy font and gold borders. You wanna know what I'm waiting for? Some family to just come clean and list all bad things that happened to the kids that year. My junior year in college my mom wanted to jump on the letter train, and my older brother Jimmy famously suggested she write the following:
"Jimmy graduated from BC by the skin of his teeth, after his math for management teacher gave him a D- for effort and attendance even though he had a 39% average. Stephanie put diesel gas in her car and broke down on the highway, so we had to buy her the Triple A plus plan for Christmas. She also slept in her heavy earrings for three months in a row and now her earlobes are saggy. Mikey (my younger brother) remains perfect."
2) THE DRAWINGS: This is where I've absolutely had it. Remember what I said about the letters setting a dangerous precedent? Yeah, meet the Christmas Card drawings. The latest fad in the housewife Christmas Card world is not to just send a picture like a normal person, but to instead hire someone to draw a picture of your family. Enough is enough. The day my mother sends a text to the group saying we all need to come home for an artist portrait sketch is the day I officially draw the line. Even if it means no presents and getting kicked off the family plan. I will NOT conform.