Monday, November 25, 2013

Put a stamp on it.

Last week I spent about 17 too many hours fretting over ordering our family Christmas card. Choosing the family photos for the card wasn’t the hard part — I’d been forcing our girls into posing for group shots all year.
It was the rest of the card that gave me fits.
Like which uplifting phrase to choose to be printed next to our pictures.
Ask any parent of teenagers if any of the following sentiments sum up their year. Note: Make sure they’re not eating or drinking when you do.
“A year of love and laughter.”
“Blessings beyond measure.”
“Delightful days and merry moments.”
Or simply:
Really? Sparkle?
I would use a lot of words to describe 2013.
“Sparkle” is not one of them.
Next, each card also has a space to include a longer written message. Oh how I hate that space. I’m a writer. I love my words. But I just hate my words on a Christmas card.
I never know what to write. How do I describe a whole year in two paragraphs?
Use headlines? Verbs only? Adjectives only? Emoji icons? Hashtags? Censored with black boxes over the bad parts?
Write a glowing, five-star review of the “highlights”? Come up with a fake-sounding “happy news only” version?
Gag me with a Christmas spoon.
The truth is way too boring:
Mom and Dad didn’t get enough sleep. Teenagers got too much.
Children misbehaved in various appropriate and inappropriate ways.
There was grades drama. Boyfriend drama. Sharing-a-bedroom-don’t-touch-my-stuff drama.
A Huffman college student went to class. A Huffman college student did not go to class.
iPhone screens were shattered. Accidentally.
Teen Twitter accounts had to be suspended. A DMV driver’s permit test was taken four times.
There was rotator cuff surgery. Insurance deductibles were met. 5K races were run. 5K races were walked.
Too much money was “saved” using the Target red card. Way too much money was not saved buying caramel Frappuccinos and cake pops at Starbucks.
FasTrak violation notices were received. A dog wasn’t walked enough. A dog’s poop wasn’t scooped often enough. Laundry wasn’t always folded promptly. Dust on dressers was ignored. Stairs were definitely not vacuumed often enough.
Too much frozen food was served as “dinner.” Nobody ate enough vegetables. Nobody ate less ice cream. Not everyone made it to church every Sunday.
Ferrets were found living in a closet. Mice were found living under the house. 4-H rabbits multiplied in the backyard.
Children still aren’t able to kill spiders in bathrooms. The word “whatever” was heard way too often. Eye-rolling will likely continue into 2014.
Is there a card for that?
I didn’t think so.
I’ll just order the “Sparkle” one instead.

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