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The holiday card train has left the station

Jeanne Sager - Columnist
Posted 12/16/19

I started as a teenager, carefully penning messages to family and neighbors. The cards were procured from a store, the front flap holiday-themed but impersonal.

Slowly, the additions came.

A …

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The holiday card train has left the station

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I started as a teenager, carefully penning messages to family and neighbors. The cards were procured from a store, the front flap holiday-themed but impersonal.

Slowly, the additions came.

A second name in the sign-off after I got married.

Little paw print stamps after the first pet came along.

A custom stamper with our name and address after we'd bought the house.

Photos when the baby arrived. One photo every year for the past 14.

Writing out the holiday cards has become as much a part of the holiday as rolling out sugar cookie dough, untangling long strings of lights, and hunting for a tree.

And like them all, the holiday card process takes longer and longer each year.

Scheduling the photo.

Fighting with the family over the photo.

Taking the photo.

Editing the photo.

Finding just the right card that both fits with the photo and the family sentiments.

Tracking down the coupon to save on the cards because it took so long to get the photo done that you missed all the good sales.

Turning the house upside down to find the address book (it's always in the last place you look).

Writing out envelope after envelope after envelope.

Adding special messages.

Licking the envelopes.

Adding the stamps.

Getting the pile to the post office.

Writing out those six cards that you somehow forgot.

The envelope. The licking. The stamps. The post office.

It's been a good run. Several decades of it all.

But this year? This is the year I say no more. No more special paw prints or perfect cards. No more custom stampers or gagging over envelope glue.

That baby who's graced more than a decade of cards and is nearly my height has just three and a half years of high school left, just a few Christmases guaranteed in that house.

I could spend some more of the holiday time we have together making merry moments in card form, but I've decided to call it quits.

I'd say it's nothing personal, but it is. It's very personal: my holiday time with my child is personal and precious, and I want to savor as much of it as I can get.

So I'm saying no more to the holiday cards to give more time to rolling out cookie dough for her to decorate and untangling lights for her to help me string. I'm saying no more to the holiday cards so I have more time for her.

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