I have a new nickname around the house. Crank. Miss Crankypants, to be exact.
I have better words for it, considering the season. Grinch. Scrooge. Bah-Humbug.
Yes, that’s right. I am NOT in the Christmas spirit. I haven’t seen Rudolph, Charlie Brown or any of my other staples. I’ve barely done any shopping. Hubby had to practically force me to put up the tree, which after half an hour became the "Less is More" tree and is missing an entire bag of tiny ornaments, just because I couldn’t face dealing with them.
What is wrong with me??? Could it be the specter of 2007 roaming around my house like a pre-Christmas dinner Roast Beast?
I finally had a moment putting together the Christmas cards. Every year we send out a ton of cards to folks far and near. Up until three years ago, we always included a letter. Lately, people have complained that they aren’t getting the letter updating them on the nothingness that’s happening in our lives during the year. We don’t have kids, haven’t bought a new car, haven’t been the recipients of a lottery check, haven’t survived a tragedy. Things have been rather nominal in the Ellison household of late. And if there’s nothing to say, I’m not going to send a letter — Dear friends and family — NOTHING EXCITING HAPPENED THIS YEAR.
But this year it’s all different. We have tons to share. Self-serving, obviously, but a lot of news. Hubby has a new job since the last letter, I have the book coming out, all that is fodder for the ubiquitous yearly correspondence. At last — we have news.
So I put together the letter. Updated the address database. Printed out the labels, which is a new thing for me. I usually handwrite, but the list has gotten a little long, and I copped out. Printed the return labels. Printed the letter. Bought the cards. Set up in the dining room where I could spread out my happy little stacks and work the system — write personal note in card, fold letter, insert letter into card, insert card in envelope, lick envelope and seal, stick on address label. Seemed like a perfect setup.
Until I opened the box of cards. Boxes, I should say. And realized I was a complete idiot. I try to buy the boxes that have two greetings, one Merry Christmas, one Season’s Greetings. That way I can send cards to everyone and not offend anyone. The boxes I bought this year had 2 messages alright. They were just disbursed among 15 different designs. 2 cards of each design. 4 boxes. Which meant I had to break open all the boxes and separate the cards into stacks, matching the designs from box to box. Grrr….
Okay, this is doable. I start breaking everything into their individual piles. There’s only one problem. Half of the cards are covered in some sort of fine, industrial grade glitter. Whomever decided that glitter on a Christmas card was a good idea should be taken behind the woodshed and summarily shot.
So here I am, stacks of cards abounding, each with designs that range from lovely to cheesy, and the cat decides to join the party. I’m covered head to toe in glitter, there’s no more fizz in my Diet Coke, I have a crick in my back, and the cat comes and lays smack dab on the piles. I nudge her off; she just slides down the table a few inches. I give her a push accompanied by a semi-curse (because who can swear at a cat who wants to share Christmas joy with her mother?) and she took shelter under the table runner. That’s when I decided I needed to A) take pictures and B) blog the hell out of this story.
Cat out of the way and pictures taken, I settled in and made some progress. I had about twenty cards complete when I realized… I was having a good time. Yes, there were a million designs. Which meant I was picking the cards individually for the recipient. Oh, they have kids, they’ll like the glittery Santa Claus. Oh, she likes animals, I’ll do the Snowman surrounded by bunnies. I want to impress so and so, I’ll send the elegant ornaments. On and on I went, decimating my stack, signing and folding and licking, until I finally, finally felt the spirit of Christmas.
People say be careful what you wish for. 2007 will bring many changes to my life. I just finished book 2 this week. I have a proposal due for book 3 on January 1. Killer Year is humming along. Murderati is populated with the coolest writers on the planet. But I’m going to try and forget about that for now, and live in this moment. Treasure this Christmas, my family, my friends. Stop being such a grinch. Remember that there are people in this world who have a lot less that I do, and be thankful that I have this life.
And be thankful for all of you, who help make this happen. Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, and Happy New Year!
This doesn’t mean I’m completely abandoning my grinchiness. Just watch this… (not with the kids around, though!)
Wine of the Week — Marquis Philips Cabernet Sauvignon S2 McLaren Vale