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How to Reduce Holiday Stress 101: Trim the Holiday Card List!

The holidays are stressful, that is a fact. We are overwhelmed by gift-shopping, tree-decorating, lights-hanging, cookie-baking, and Elf-on-the-Shelf-ing (dodged it again this year, phew!).

One of my goals this year is to simplify the holidays cards. Now, I can say something witty about the wisdom of doing more with less, but it’s really because I’m still feeling the aftershocks of the terrible, horrible, no good, very bad cold I got hit with in November. Seriously, it was so awful that my 3 year-old banned me from his play area and people thanked me for skipping social events and strangers moved out of the way when I had to go to the store for more NyQuil.

But I digress.

So how am I approaching this simplification idea? It’s all about the who’s who. Of course, there are people who get cards every year: family who would love to know what we’ve been up to, friends who have already “liked” the photos on social media but won’t mind seeing it again in print, and providers who have taken care of our family. Those names are set aside in a different tab — gotta love Excel — then I move on to tackle the remaining list of “wait, who is this?” and “whoa, I haven’t thought of you in years!”

The first to go (simplification means streamlining, after all) are the providers that we no longer have a relationship with or are no longer in business. The pediatrician gets a card but the midwife does not, seeing how we are one-and-done and, well, their practice has closed. The people I haven’t had any contact with in the past two years are also removed from the list. Since becoming a parent, there are people I simply haven’t spoken with or seen in years — not because we don’t like each other anymore or had a falling out, it’s just how life works sometimes. Time goes on, people change, and priorities get shifted. That is all perfectly okay, but if there haven’t been any texts, calls, emails or smoke signals, then they probably aren’t expecting a card either.

In under 10 minutes, my list is in the double-digits instead of triple and it feels awesome. I’m not sure why I felt like I needed to send cards to almost everyone we’ve ever had contact with — actually, it’s probably my people-pleasing tendency (I’m working on it!) — but I know I like the feeling of wanting to send cards a whole lot better.

If you did get a card from us this year, congratulations and give yourself a pat on the back! If you didn’t and are reading this blog…well, let’s get coffee and I can deliver a card to you in person and see about getting you back on the list!


About Angela Francis

Angela's original life plan was to have five cats and no kids. After catching the baby fever, she now has one cat and one kid – a compromise her and her husband are quite happy with. Some of her favorite things are: coffee, cats, conversations, cookies, and cardio boot camps. She is also a big fan of alliterations.

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