I have a confession to make: I’m a failure when it comes to sending out Christmas cards. Despite that, every year I get a tiny rush as I ply open the carefully addressed and sealed envelopes that contain assorted thick cardstock plastered with photographs of my friends and family. I promptly post them throughout my home for the duration of the holidays before filing them away amidst photographs and other mementos from that year. I imagine that, in the future, they will be tangible reminders of those who are a part of our lives’ various chapters. I like the idea of cataloging our memories because deep down I’m a hopelessly sentimental sap.
An unfortunate side effect to all of this card adoration is that I have to face the glaring reality that I am not preserving our own family’s yearly happenings via the Christmas card wagon. I want to do the Christmas card thing (truly), but it appears that everyone else is planning their cards months in advance while I don’t plan ours until the first one appears in my mailbox- a sincerely sweet 5×7 token from a friend wishing me a Merry Christmas while inadvertently rubbing salt in my “I’m such a slacker” wound. Let me say in my defense that I have twice scrounged something together in time to send out a handful of “Happy New Year” cards. I’m pretty sure the whole “Happy New Year” card-category was created precisely for me and my fellow procrastinators.
This year, a couple of days before Christmas, I found myself with the sudden resolve and energy to grab my DSLR camera and attempt to snag a few pictures of my four boys in hopes that I could get one or two images that were good enough for a “Happy 2015” card. It was a wet, gray day and I had not purchased or prepared any coordinated outfits for them. On a whim, I assigned each of them a button down shirt in an assortment of complimentary hues and optimistically headed to the front yard to tackle the photo shoot.
Five minutes and a dozen photos later, I nodded to the boys and sent them on their way as I issued to them what has become my unintended motto: “Good enough.” This hasn’t always been my motto (and I only apply it in a don’t-sweat-the-small-stuff kind of way, not to life’s truly significant callings). But seeing as four rambunctious boys and perfectionism cannot peacefully coexist under one roof (trust me- I tried), I’ve had to get flexible about quite a few things over the years. So whether I’m cleaning my house, trying to tame their stubborn bed-head, or assisting with a school project, I find myself reciting those two words on a frightfully frequent basis. (I credit the adoption of my “good enough” attitude with being partly responsible for my sanity and survival many days. If you have a couple of precious wild things of your own at home, I highly recommend this tried-and-true approach for the ubiquitous mundane tasks that bombard you daily.)
That being said, when I finally had a chance later that day to scroll through the shots that I captured, I noticed that my youngest son was wearing a few tiny accessories that are just NOT appropriate for a family portrait.
Multiple splotches of it.
On both of his chubby little cheeks.
The mustard was a stowaway from lunch, consumed just minutes before the haphazard portrait session. Unfortunately my motto could not offer any justification for mustard-adorned cheeks in a belated Christmas card masquerading as a New Year’s card.
Oh well, I guess it’s just another card-less year for the Wilson family. The silver lining: at least I only wasted five minutes of our lives on the fruitless endeavor.
Well, I take that back. It wasn’t totally fruitless. After the initial frustration passed, I had a pretty good laugh over the whole thing. I laughed over the idea of flippantly mailing them out anyway, wishing all of our loved ones a “Merry Christmas with Mustard on Top”. Take that- all of you over achievers out there. I’m just kidding, seriously. I sincerely love and appreciate getting your sweet mustard-free Christmas cards (please keep them coming!!) and one of these years, I’ll mail out a few of my own.
See you in 2015!
“A joyful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.” Proverbs 17:22 ESV