I spent the morning doing Christmas cards. I had thought I wouldn't bother this year. But I love the cards we still do get so much. I also love picking out the perfect card. I'm not so found of writing the cards and composing the letter. But once again, when I get a beautiful card with just a signature inside, I always feel disappointed. This year so far we've only gotten three cards, and of those, one came with a letter and pictures. The second card had a sweet drawing inside. The third was just a signature. I always feel so let-down when I don't learn about family news. So I sorted through the cards I purchased last year and I thought long and hard about the Christmas letter. In the end I went with a collage of photos from the year -- I think grad school had written me out. Then I began the assembly -- choose card, sign with simple message, fold letter (picture collage), seal, insert, stick on address label and return label and stamp. Repeat. This is truly a labor of love. I know that e-cards are more eco-friendly and gaining in popularity but it's just not the same opening e-mail as finding a creamy (or crimson) envelop in my mailbox and inside that a velum paper card with sparkles on it.
We started celebrating with a warm, loving and tasty Chinese share-all supper with dear friends tonight. We had the dinner for four or more (five in attendance) at the local Chinese eatery and we caught up and shared stories. Always a good way to start off the holiday countdown.
The presents are purchased, just not assembled into gift bags and sorted by person. The faculty gifts will be dragged into school on Monday and Tuesday so the kids can make gift baskets to distribute. Hubby is creating the "kid" gifts for every student from the presents we purchased in Branson and throughout the year. Some of my kids wouldn't have a Christmas without the little trinkets we give at school -- this way everybody has something to open.
On Friday we host a spaghetti lunch for the kids. Hubby brings in the main course and the kids bring what they can -- usually lots and lots of sweets, but it's the last day before the winter vacation so what's a little sugar high?
Over the following weekend we assemble Houston gifts but I wrap things in Houston. I've learned that unwrapped presents take up a lot less room in the car than protecting all that gift wrapping from snoopy dogs. On Monday we get the rental car, stop the mail, throw enough clothes for a week into the car along with the requisite gifts -- and we're off.
The time frame seems very short with lots to do. We may need to mainline the gin and tonic while singing along with "White Christmas" to make it through.