Friday, December 18, 2009

The making of a Christmas card...

I may not get into all of Christmas all the time, but there is at least one thing I always love about this time of year: Christmas cards.

I love to opening the mail, I love reading the letters, I love looking at the matching-sweaters photos. And I really love to put together our card each year.

More accurately I have a bit of a love-hate with the process of our yearly card, as it's an area where I reveal a lot of my type-A tendencies. I refuse to go store-bought (not judging! just saying!), I have a laundry list of specifications (custom coordinated return address labels, particular pen for signing) and I try to craft our update into the most fun, creative format I can muster. I brainstorm themes months in advance, eventually working myself into a frenzy that is neither necessary, nor rational. (Last year the panic escalated to the point where I had to exit the game completely- sorry if you're still waiting on your 2008 letter). I don't know why I stress about it so much. Perhaps it has to do with my long standing need to impress others (um, duh. I have a blog.) Or my habit of approaching simple tasks with a relentless passion/perfectionist combo, placing undue pressure and standards on myself. I may not take the perfectly posed photo of Dustin and I in front of the tree, but our card is still a carefully constructed self portrait. But despite my self-centered anxiety, in my heart I know the purpose of the card isn't to make an impression on others, but to make a connection, and to celebrate a season marked with joy, gratitude and love. I really do enjoy hearing from friends and family during this time, and I hope our silly little efforts at least bring you a smile.

So for those of you wishing to follow in my anxiety ridden footsteps, I give to you:
Courtney Bowden's Guide to Overthinking Stuff- The Christmas Card Edition:

  • Design- Edit, analyze, agonize over font size, color, style, capitals vs. lowercase, word choice, word order, margin size......Repeat ad naseum.
  • Print. Again and again and again, until it all lines up right. (why is double sided so hard for me?! Five YEARS of school and still I can't master this....)
  • Crop, one by one by one.
  • Sign (after testing multiple message placements for optimum visual balance, of course).
  • Debate hand addressing vs. printing labels. Compromise by printing directly on envelopes- (searching for the perfect font so they appear hand addressed). Painstakingly feed envelopes through printer one at a time.
  • Realize half of the necessary addresses are missing....send mass email.
  • Stuff- Front facing up, envelope opening to right for consistency and easy reading.
  • Drink. (Kidding!) (?)
  • Stamp- research available options on post office website....(Nutcrackers or Gingerbread men?!?!) Give up and buy "forever" stamps, but deep down still fret that they ruined the seasonal continuity.
  • Send.
  • Reveal OCD tendencies to online audience.
So there you have it; A sneak peak behind the scenes...Stay tuned for the big reveal!

No comments :

Post a Comment