Tuesday, December 9, 2014

humble pie

i know a lot of people make fun of christmas cards and the humble brag letters and awkward family photos, but i have a confession to make: i LOVE them. i mean. i might make fun of you and your dog's matching sweater sets a little bit in my mind, but it's only because i love you. and really i am the queen of geek when it comes to christmas cards so i have no room to judge. i love getting cards and i love preparing them too, from the family photo sesh -- well, okay, no. that part actually sucks. i can't think of anything else, except maybe child birth, that is as painful as family photos, yet ultimately brings me such immense joy. but i love getting the proofs, choosing the cards, thinking back on the highlights of our year, and getting matching wraparound return address labels. i f*cking live for stationery, people. seriously. when i die, please cremate me and turn my ashes into some coordinating handmade note cards and gift bags from The Paper Source.

anyway, i love seeing pictures of your family, your fabulous christmas trees, your chrismakkuh displays, your kids on santa's lap under duress, your clever elf-on-the-shelf machinations (to a point. don't get all crazy on me. and for the love of god, don't make your elf be a dick. that is a phenomenon i will never understand!) (i think everyone and their grandma has read this, but if you are the one person who hasn't, please do so now: people i want to punch in the throat's post on overachieving elf on the shelf mommies.)

but i realize some people see all this as a chore.

this year, we added some new couple friends to "The List" (of holiday card recipients). one of the moms texted me when she received her card and said, "how on earth do you have time to do all this? by December 1st?! it stresses me out just thinking about Christmas cards. ugh. i guess i better get on that, stat!" this reminded me of one year when my aunt was complaining to my mom about how the Christmas photo card tradition was such a production and it was basically ruining her life. my mom replied, "then don't do them." the thought had never occurred to her. she was so bogged down in the sludge of "should" that she didn't even see it as an optional obligation.

here's the deal though. nobody really cares. okay, i mean, i might cry one glistening tear, but i get it. the holidays are supposed to be a time of love and family and gratitude, not stress and rampant consumerism. i, mackenzie ninjago cheeseman, am granting you the freedom to let it go. separate the wheat from the chaff. determine what you're doing because you WANT to do it, versus what you're doing because you feel like you SHOULD. keep the former. ditch the latter. 

i don't know about you all, but i am SO TIRED. like, "regularly ask The Google and Web MD what sort of terminal illness i have"-tired. and something occurred to me the other day. i'm sure i'm not the first person to draw this analogy, but, you know how, when you leave a million apps open on your phone, it drains your battery quadruple-y fast? well, that's life as a mom. or a dad. and, okay. i know this is sexist and perhaps not even true, but i do feel this might be a terminal illness that plagues moms at a higher rate than dads. at least that is true of DM and me. he is much better at compartmentalizing, at letting things go, whether it's work stress or life stress or the dirty dishes in the sink. which might not get us on the cover of good housekeeping magazine, but at least it'll keep us out of the nut house. priorities.

so, this holiday season, don't forget to close all those apps you aren't using. save your battery for what really matters. like google maps. so you can always find a 7/11, for emergency late night slurpees and champagne.

i could seriously look at these allllll day.


  1. Love this! I've never sent out Christmas cards and can't imagine dealing with a photo session just to send out something that will only be glanced at once and tossed in the garbage (or a box somewhere, for people like me who can't get rid of anything). Heck, I had some made for my daughter's first Christmas and never sent them out! I think it's way too easy for people to get wrapped up in all the traditions and stress themselves out to the point where the holidays are no longer fun. Not me. My favorite holiday tradition is the Christmas Eve bottle of wine, no stress there! :-)

    1. Ha, you're like my husband. I insisted on professional photos for our first christmas cards as a family, and he moaned and groaned the whole time. then the next year i was like, "it's christmas card photo time again!" and he said "what? we did that last year!" and i said, "um, yeah, it's an annual thing," and he was like, "we have to do this EVERY YEAR?!?" then we started getting christmas cards from everyone and he was like, "what the fuck? this is a thing people do???" lol. i'm a total photo whore so i kinda love it but i get it's not worth the hassle for many!! and wine is always a good tradition!