I’m a busy mom of four.
My plan for this holiday season was to be prepared and on top of the “to dos” so I could enjoy and not be filled with stress. I make lists every morning. My lists are always ongoing…dinner prep, grocery store, Target run, kids guitar lesson, gymnastics, my workout, teacher gifts, class parties, basketball, fold seven loads of laundry, fix the slow drain in bathroom, etc.
I get by. Barely.
One evening, my husband had a late meeting and I was determined to knock “Christmas Card” off my list early.
Put kids on front stoop and took picture. Put kids in Christmas Pjs and took several pictures. Fed children, did homework, prepped lunches for next day, put kids to bed, and stayed up editing photos.
The next day I devoted 1 1/2 hours to formatting and reformatting my card during my one year old’s nap-time. I noticed just before I hit purchase that my baby’s name was cut off of the card. Saved my project and reformatted the names with a new font that allowed my fourth child’s name to be on our card.
Whew! Crisis averted.
Fast forward to cards arriving.
I am so excited to be on my best holiday game. I open the box of perfect cards to see I have printed the unedited version of my card. My carefully curated pictures include only the feet of my baby in one and a double print of the same group shot. Names were all in place, but the pictures were…lacking.
I was not happy.
My perfect presentation of my perfect family was ruined. I immediately got online to check and support my feelings that this must be a production error…not mine, certainly! But it was. All. My. Fault.
I cried. I am not ashamed to admit this.
I also printed a limited number of properly fixed cards (to send to people who don’t really know us).
I then resolved that I would send these cards as a gift to all the best moms that I know who are doing their best every day. Sometimes coming short. But always giving it their all. I sent my “ugly Christmas Card” to honor this season in truth.
I shared with them the unedited version of myself.
Christmas is crazy busy for moms with young children. We want to do and be all the things. This was me throwing my hands in the air and saying, “this is what I have.” A Merry greeting of solidarity.
Because, isn’t that part of this season? Sharing love and connecting, focusing on God and not how good we look, embracing the messy of life (because that is life).
Jesus was born in a stable and slept in a manger…the least I could do was get over a card gone wrong.