Greetings Cards Have Not Been Sent

Glass Balls

I don’t know about the rest of you, but I’ve felt swamped this season. I’ve got a few balls spinning precariously in the air: the boring blog job, my day job of stay-at-home mothering, writing, present-buying, cookie-making, and THE Christmas Newsletter -all threatening to drop and break into a thousand tiny glass-ornament shards.

Someone should have taken all this into account, particularly knowing I’m a horrible juggler.

It’s the small hands. Might be lack of practice, too.

Point is, it’s December 21st and there is no way I am going to get these Christmas cards to people before Christmas. I know. The post office told me.

After navigating an endless, winding line of hopeful package-senders, I addressed the top of a head behind an overflowing counter. “WILL THIS ARRIVE BY CHRISTMAS?” I yelled.

I think the hair moved. A mumble made it through the wall of bubble-wrapped envelopes and Flat Rate Priority Mail boxes. A finger poked through to point at their posted notice: Priority Mail Not Guaranteed to Arrive if Mailed after December 20, 2017.

“So…. I HAVE A HOPE?”

I think the pile sighed.

And yet, I push onward. I’ve typed up a funny newsletter and sent it inside a crappy Wal-mart card for over a decade now. My audience needs me.

I think.

That, and it’s a decade of tradition. As Tevye would say, “…It’s a tradition. And because of our traditions, every one of us knows who he is, and what God expects him to do.” Though I don’t actually send one to any deity, you get the idea.

Besides juggling and general motivation problems (a standard writing prompt of mine on this very blog), I have made chronicling events difficult for myself. Impossible for myself.

I take my writing seriously when it’s not 2 a.m. before a deadline. I assume a new angle each time is imperative. So, the work gets pushed back and pushed back.

We got a few cards in advance this year, which was nice. Usually I don’t get so many until I’ve sent my famous offering first. All of them are photo cards; the families smiling in matching clothing, standing somewhere ethereal like their front yard.

“We should do a family picture next year,” my husband noted, examining our mail.

I glanced up from the 75 envelopes I was hand-addressing, trying to psych myself up for the next three steps. “I don’t know,” I sighed. “A picture seems like so much work.”