I went to the Costco website today with every intention of creating a Christmas card.
Because on Saturday, after picking up the mail at the UPS store and heading home, my daughter sat in the backseat opening a bounty of Christmas cards and letters addressed to both of us. And she was confused. Mom. Why did Auntie send us a picture of my cousins? Is it her picture, did we get it by accident?
I had to explain the concept of Christmas cards to her.
So, you know, FAIL.
Back in my previous life, the life where Everything Was Going to Go a Certain Way, I was the queen of the Christmas card. Started plotting them in September, actually. They were fantastically witty letters accompanied by cute pictures of the new house we had just bought or what I realize now were really awful newborn photos of my daughter. I probably made half of you want to puke and I’m sorry. But, to my credit, even after the proverbial shit hit the fan and I realized Probably Nothing Will Ever Go My Way Again, I sporadically sent out cute pictures of my child at the holidays, usually after my friend Kelly not only photographed the child but created the card for me and did everything but pick up the order at Costco and address them for me.
But let’s be honest. Nobody wants to read an annual recap of my single parenthood adventures except my mother, my sisters, maybe three of my closest friends, and my other unmarried, single parent friends. You know, all two of them. Doesn’t really make the economy pack of 50 cards from Costco.com seem worth it, does it? Sending a falsely cheerful letter that highlights my year in terms of the races I ran or by telling saccharin sweet stories of my daughter’s development feels like bullshit. Anyone could (and would) read straight between the lines. Writing what I think would be an honest, hilarious, uncensored recap of 2013 would likely offend half the married people I know and be decidedly unfestive.
So there you have it. I’m torn. I used to love the Christmas letter but now I can’t seem to write anything that feels genuine and simultaneously in keeping with the season. I imagine that most of my single mom counterparts feel the same. Our lives revolve around things like praying our child doesn’t re-spike a fever at 4 a.m. because right now it’s 10 p.m. and we just gave that last dose of ibuprofen and the thought of bundling our sick kids in the car for a trip to Wal-Mart in the middle of the night makes us want to cry. We are the be-all, end-all of creating Christmas in our homes and between borrowing a ladder to get the lights and the star on the tree and making cookies and don’t forget a gift for the teacher and what will you wear for your Christmas program and that goddamn f***ing elf who needs to be secretly moved to a new watchful spot every night, something has to give. In my house, Christmas cards were the first tradition to go out the window.
Side note: Seriously. If I see one more post on the internet titled ‘look where the hubs hid the elf last night!’ I will begin punching people in the throat. I hope you were fast asleep while hubby remembered to move the felt creature. I hate you. Merry Christmas.
You’re starting to see now that a holiday letter from me wouldn’t make it past your recycle bin, aren’t you? I told you.
So there I was, on my couch this morning, palms all sweaty while navigating the Costco website. Jesus. Have I really not uploaded photos to this site since 2011? (Likely the last year I sent a Christmas letter.) I just couldn’t do it. My daughter will have to chalk Christmas cards up to one of the many mysteries of Christmas, and work through her mother’s shortcomings later in life during therapy, just like everyone else.
Her Christmas letters will probably be fabulous.