Christmas Card

We close on the house on Wednesday, take care of some unfortunate mold, and move on Saturday. (Assuming all goes as planned. Knock wood. Throw salt. Spit.)

I’ve had a few friends say, “You’re not putting up a tree, are you?” “Surely you are not decorating for Christmas?” Heavens. Of course. We have a seven-year-old for the love of Pete (and a 10-year-old and a 14-year-old.) Some things are non-negotiable. Christmas is non-negotiable. (There is also talk of a puppy and I’d like to say I am the voice of sanity, but I rarely am and, in this case, I absolutely am not.)

But as much as I love making our holiday cards, as much as I dig a paper craft, it may be the one thing that I skip. The current plan has two card sizes, a printed sticker and a couple of stick-on jewels to accompany the picture. “It looks like a truck, right?” To which they responded, “Um. Sure. Sort of. Maybe you could paint on a grill. And wheels. Could you make the wheels turn?” Darling, I can make holiday magic the likes of which you have never imagined. But maybe not this year.
Images from Harpers Bazaar, December, 2010. Photography by Lacey and this really amazing paper art by Su Blackwell. I thought these shots would be included in a larger story in the magazine, but they are not. Just like a little something in your stocking that you might overlook if you didn’t reach all the way into the toe. You can see more of her work here. Other, completely unrelated paper art at Mondoblogo.
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28 thoughts on “Christmas Card

  1. pretty sure it might be the most magic Christmas ever for the blandings/shackelfords…and you will be carefully guiding it with one hand firmly on the wheel and the other tossing a sweet stack of jeweled cards into a happy mailbox. just my guess.

    images here are magnificent; the words, pure gold

  2. Yes I saw these – incredible!! And so exciting about the house!! I once had to move at this time of year – and I was 8 months pregnant with my 4th. Everything went wrong that first week we moved in – one boy got strep, the other ran into something and had to get stitches in his head (again – there's always one in the pack) and I had to have an emergency root canal that subsequently got infected. But as you say, Christmas with younger children is non negotiable. I'm sure you'll have better luck!!

  3. David – I do think the puppy is a done deal in concept – it's just a matter of when. I. Can't. Wait.

    Victoria – I will probably end up sending cards – I just hope as gracefully as you describe.

    Vicki – thanks, and Rebecaa – absolutely!

    Q – we need to have coffee so I can tell you about my husband's kidney stone surgery during my 9th month of my third pregnancy while my other two had the flu. Maybe coffee with Bailey's. If you can do that, I can surely move and send out cards.

    Claire and Appletree – thanks.

  4. To give you a little comfort. A few years ago, I was so busy that I had to skip the card (too much going on). During the season that year, I saw a friend who had sent us one of the most beautiful cards I had ever seen and I told her so. Her response, "We loved your card too." I came home and told my husband and we laughed about it for the rest of Christmas. There are so many cards being sent that only your closest 10 friends will even notice that you did not send one! M.

  5. best wishes for a smooth closing and move. that you are even posting (with your signature wit about you, still) is a testament of grace and strength.

    this holiday will be one to remember…

    wishing you all the best, donna

  6. You are so right the tree is non negotiable, it is an exciting time Christmas and the move, You are making the memories-the beautiful and the laughable-stories your boys will tell for years. pgt

  7. Yessssss for the new puppy. Nothing says new year, new life for a family than a new puppy. How better to break in a new home than with breaking in a new puppy? Some of my favorite memories of Christmas are when mystery took over: an unexpected layover, unplanned guests, a meal that went awry. This is going to be quite lovely. Nonnegotiable. But lovely.

  8. Is there a book for the "Christmas Card conundrum" that seems to befall each and every one of us, well maybe except for Su. She certainly has a way with paper.
    Good luck with your move and getting settled in time for Christmas and a new pup. Why not needlepoint a new dog bed? Needlepoint can calm those nerves, well it does mine…that and sketching.

  9. IDM – the best Christmas card story ever. Ever.

    Thanks, Donna, wishing you a lovely holiday as well.

    LA – I do think this one will be memorable.

    HBD – that is just what I was thinking about a puppy. Pure joy.

    Patricia – I am feeling the itch to stitch something. Maybe a chair. I'm glad we are the happy recipients of your calming sketches.

  10. Patricia the paper art is astounding isn't it!?

    I know Christmas will be joyous in your new home and you will make it more special than ever….

    Art by Karena

  11. Congratulations on the new house & a new puppy – whenever he or she arrives. The card has the power to send me back to therapy every year; my mother believed that your Christmas card was a statement of your worth as a person.

  12. Even Santa's team has their limitations! I'm half way done, and it may not get much better. Half of the cards addressed. 1 mantle done. 1 not. Tree up, train set up. Gifts wrapped – um, not yet!

    Congratulations on being in your new home in time for the holidays. Once that tree is up….it'll definitely feel like home.

    Merry merry!

  13. Yeah!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!111

    When I was 8 my parents moved to KC on Dec 22, and never skipped a beat. Of course you'll have a tree and the holiday traditions will endure. By New Years you feel you have been there forever.

  14. I threw some salt, said a prayer, lit a candle and breathed a sigh of relief…….CONGRATULATIONS! Of course, you'll do Christmas. Mary

  15. Much of your Christmas came early with the fortuitous sale of your home in this terrible market. I hope you have a wonderful Christmas in your new home with Mr. White, Mr. Color and for sure Mr. Blandings and the little ones.

  16. I was just about to ask how your house hunt was going! Of course there's Christmas no matter what if kids (of any age) are involved.

  17. Good luck on the move and I say skip the cards for this year—trees and such are vital but cards are easily forgotten by New Years!

  18. Wishing you a white (walls) Christmas, with every Christmas card I write . . .

    Best to you all for an uneventful move and a joyous holiday!

  19. You will pull it all of with much aplomb I am sure! But i feel your doubts, as my mother has just moved in, and the act of compressing tow households into one has me flummoxed this year. I am handing Xmas cards off to the husband this year. God only knows what our friends and family will end up with.

  20. We moved into our newly built house last December 24th. The fellows from the neighborhood nursery brought us a 9 foot tree which we proudly displayed in our empty diningroom. We woke in our new home with three new kittens on Christmas Day and then had 12 for dinner that evening. We will never forget it! It was wonderful.
    Sheryl (Vancouver, Canada)

  21. I totally get a non-negotiable Christmas. I moved(half my stuff) last week and when my husband told me there was no room for Christmas decorations on the truck I started to cry. LOL, needless to say I am hanging our stockings today.
    How can anyone with young kids say, "oh nevermind." about Christmas?

  22. Good luck with the move! I hope everything goes as smoothly as possible. Can't wait to see it when you're all settled in.

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