You get pregnant.
You prepare for the baby.
You hear the horror stories.
You are told ad nauseam about how your life will change.
But people neglect to tell you one thing.
The thing that will be added onto your list of responsibilities once you become a parent.
Nobody tells you about…
the Christmas card.
This is a very strange and oddly competitive arena you have just entered.
You never thought about Christmas cards as a single person.
But once you pop your first kid out, it’s a whole different story.
Stress over that perfect picture begins early.
Sometimes before summer is even over.
You will feel pressure to take the perfect picture.
It’s easier that first year.
Your tiny baby is so cute, and you want everyone to see him.
You buy that little Santa’s hat or the baby’s first Christmas onesie and you take a couple pictures.
You find the perfect one, and you make that perfect card.
But then you receive about 358 Christmas cards in the mail.
They are cute and crafty and creative and funny and sentimental and…
…way better than yours.
And these cards that at one time came as a friendly holiday greeting have now turned into a competitive sport.
Over the top, like so many other things these days.
Before you know it, you are sending out hundreds and hundreds of cards to every single person you have ever met in the course of your entire life, mainly to show them what your kids look like after another year has passed.
It’s become a little pointless.
People see pictures of your kids all year long now.
They know how big they’ve gotten.
Not only is it an insane amount of money to spend, but it is also a huge time investment.
I got sucked in.
At this point, between the cards themselves and the postage and the evergrowing list of people I have decided I need to send them to, I must have spent in the thousands of dollars.
Not this year.
This year the budget is still limited, and there just isn’t room in it for Christmas cards.
I would still love to come up with that perfect picture.
But in reality, the behind the scenes of the one that makes the cover is anything but cheerful and filled with the Christmas spirit.
It’s more filled with kids arguing and rolling their eyes and not cooperating and running out of the frame and not looking at the camera and me getting pissed and threatening them with some sort of punishment so that I can get that one cardworthy photo.
Which would ultimately only be looked at once for about 1.2 seconds by 90% of the people who received it.
This year we’re passing on the Christmas cards.
The traditional ones anyway.
I can’t go totally cold turkey on the Christmas competition.
I’ll still be thinking about that perfect shot.
But this year if and when I get it, I’m going the budget route.
And I’m putting it directly on Facebook.