I have a confession to make. I don’t send out holiday cards! I know that sounds terrible, but its true! I used to send out cards but it turns out I. Hate. It. Seriously. I hate the photo taking, the decision making on which photo to choose, the remembering to order the cards, the huge payment for 24 hour service because I forgot to order the cards (again) , the finding of my address book, the handwriting of addresses because I never bothered to type them into my computer, the stamping of cards, and worst of all, the dropping off at the mailbox. Every year I dreaded sending out cards.
So a few years ago, I stopped. I just didn’t bother. And guess what? The world didn’t come to an end! Oh sure, I got a few calls from family members requesting a photograph of the kids. One mom was aghast I didn’t send anything out! She said her family would kill her if she didn’t send photos. But my extended family didn’t seem to notice, or if they did they certainly didn’t say anything to my face. And the freedom from the burden of the cards was amazing! For some reason those cards really put a damper on my whole December, and without them I could focus on the things I really enjoy doing- like decorating the house and cooking treats!
The reason why I decided to tell you about my lack of card sending is this: it is ok to not do something you really hate doing. Actually, I think life is better when you start saying no to things you really dread. Life is too short and there are too many things we don’t like to do that we really have to do, like taking the kids to the dentist or waiting in the security line at the airport. I want you to take a long, hard look at your holiday preparations. Is there something you dread? If so, would the world really end if you stopped doing it? My mom hated making Christmas cookies. Hated it. Then one year she stopped doing it. And you know what? We had brownies instead. The same brownies I made in this video. And they turned out to be a new favorite tradition in our family.
It is ok to say no. Maybe that should be your New Year’s resolution. Try saying no to something and then let me know how it turned out. Was it a disaster, or a relief? Frankly, I think your family will be better off when you start focusing on things that mean something to you then doing things that bring you no joy.