Sunday, December 9, 2012

Christmas Cards

The last time I sent out Christmas cards it was Christmas 2009. In some sick way I really enjoyed this process. Picking out the perfect card, the perfect picture and the PERFECT pen for writing out each address by hand. Yes, I know I could easily print labels, but there is something about a hand written card. We have all gotten to a place where everything comes printed, but at Christmas time I loved taking the time to personalize each card. I also took the time to write a specific note to each family. No generic Christmas letter from us (not that I have a problem with that I just really appreciate the personalization). I would sit at the table and spend hours on my cards probably sending out just under 200. I know 200 is a lot, but when you combine both our families plus our friends it really adds up!  Brian would tease me for being such a geek and getting into it the way I did.

When we were pregnant with Addison just before Christmas 2010, I decided to wait until she was born to send out our cards. I wanted to add in her birth announcement (to save on postage). I had each envelope addressed, the cards picked, ordered and stuffed. The only thing missing was that first picture of our baby girl to add into the envelope.

See all ready to go...ugh


Quite the stack of wasted cards :(

To this day I wish I would have sent them prior to her being born because I wish people had them. After she died it didn't seem appropriate to send them and yet I couldn't throw them away...what do you do with 200ish Christmas cards?!?! Yes, I STILL have them.

Our cards said "Expecting a wonderful Christmas" yeah that was the understatement of the millennium. Ugh.

Last year we had survived the first year without Addison and were halfway through our pregnancy with Mason. We were certainly not going to announce anything on our cards and I wanted nothing to do with Christmas and the merriment of it all. So again there were no cards sent.

This year we do have our beautiful boy and we have found some merriment here and there. I am still not ready to embrace Christmas for everything it is, but this year I will send out a card. I just ordered them today (nothing like waiting until last minute). So with any luck you might get one before Christmas....along with a very late birth announcement for Mason.

We decided against a tree this year (don't worry Mason will get the experience with my parent's tree). This card is me trying, it's my attempt at trying Christmas again. Maybe next year there will be a tree. This is all I have in me this year. So Merry Christmas or something :)

Our Christmas 2012 Card

Photo Card
View the entire collection of cards.


  1. I can't believe you had so many cards read to stuff and send. Makes me so angry. And I guess just really, really sad.

    I wrote a blog post about Christmas cards and how I figured I'd wait until Andrew was born to include him in the card. Fun to read that blog post now. :/

    I wouldn't get a tree if we had family near, either. I surely don't really care about the tree or even want it in our house. My husband handled 90% of the decorating because I didn't have it in me. Gah.

    Our card looks similar, but we only send to really close family and a few friends. I think I sent out 25 this year. Not much, but that's all the effort I could muster. Bah. Not that there's ever a good time to lose a baby, but December is pretty terrible. Every Christmas will always remind me of sitting there in shock on our sofa staring at the Christmas tree we bought and decorated when Andrew was hours from dying. And the music. Oh, the horrid music.

  2. I love your card, especially the piece for Addi in the corner. (Mason is so smiley now!!) I'm not doing cards this year, for the second time in a row. I just don't care enough. We did get a tree (today), will put lights on the house and go through the motions with family, but past that? Just don't care.

  3. Oh, your 2010 card is heartbreaking. I also enjoy writing out all the addresses and adding something personal to each card (but we only do 65!) I haven't been able to decorate at all. Just keep procrastinating the tree and now we're going out of town for a little bit so it isn't really worth it. I used to love the whole Christmas spirit and getting out all my special ornaments. Now embracing Christmas is really hard, even with a happy baby at home now. I hope I can be more merry about it all by the time he is old enough to care. :)

  4. O. M. G. At those 2010 cards. Expecting... Shit. I did do cards last year, mainly bc Jason made me. But I included a pic of Hayes' hands and an ultrasound pic of K. Cause I figured I wanted people to know even if he didn't make it. Still haven't done this year's, but I will. And I think it's going to be a collection of Instagram pics, many that include Hayes in some way. If people only knew the heartache that goes into cards from us. Ugh.

  5. Those 2010 cards are heart breaking. I love your 2012 cards though.

    Just remember if you don't decide to do a Christmas Tree again soon remember to explain to Mason that it's not because you don't love him. I have a friend who grew up not doing Christmas because her parents were grieving and she thought it was because they didn't love her as much as they loved her sister who died. :(

    For Christmas cards this year I included a photo of Calypso and a little printed out thing of her story.

  6. That "expecting" is incredibly heartbreaking. You are such a pretty pregnant momma and I hate that we have these happy photos and that's it. F.

    To add to Brandy's comment, January birthdays/death days aren't much better than December. Because I remember so vividly thinking we were mere weeks from meeting our baby. Gifts were stacked so high under that tree for gifts for Jack, to eachother for things we could use for/with him. F.

    I'm so glad you're sending out cards with such a happy little baby boy on it, and I love the Addison tree as well- such a special photograph to include. We're sending out 20 Christmas cards that I purchased from the SickKids foundation and including small photos of our family and of Grace. I'm still struggling with how to sign them, but since I have sent out a total of 3 thus far, I have some time to work on it. ;)

    xox momma.

  7. OMG. I ordered similar cards. Picture of my pregnant belly, David and me smiling gleefully. "Happy Holidays from our (growing) family to yours!"

    They arrived the day after Eliza died.

    I threw them out in a fit of rage.

    David fished one out of the trash and put it in Eliza's baby book, and I'll always be grateful for that. Because we know that I will NEVER smile quite like that again. (Hmm... I should blog about this...)

    I wish people had those cards, too.

    I love the way you included Addi's Christmas tree this year. I didn't get Eliza's sand tree before I ordered our cards (which just have one picture on them, of David & Caro & me), but I plan to use the Eliza picture next year. This year I had our cards printed from "David, Brooke, and Caroline, with Eliza in our hearts."

    It will just never be quite enough, you know?

    Don't feel bad about not doing a tree this year. You'll be ready when Mason is ready, whether it's next year or the year after, and hopefully it will be another opportunity to talk about his beautiful sister as you hang her ornaments.

  8. SUch a beautiful pic of you guys and I know it hurts every time you look at it because it is incomplete and always will be. Not being pregnant this Christmas is throwing me for a loop because I have nothing to really focus on, so the blah like everyone else has mentioned seems more apparent to me this year. Thankfully I have little one's to reinforce the holidays. But, really...when you bury your son on the 23rd of December it pretty much sucks and monopolizes my brain this time of year.

    Really hoping next Christmas becomes a little more enjoyable. I know as Mason gets older he will help with that. Seriously, your stack of unused Christmas cards breaks my heart for you...doesn't make any sense. Hugs to you and your beautiful family!!

  9. I love both of your Christmas cards. I wish you had gotten to send the first ones though :( I still have some thank you cards that I was getting ready to send out after Kayla's baby shower. Instead I sent out her birth/death announcement. I couldn't bring myself to use them for Livia's gifts. I'll probably just keep them.

  10. Those cards...your beautiful picture with Addison inside breaks my heart. Last Christmas was our first without Camille, I didn't send out cards and I burned, litterally burned, all the cards we recieved. The cards you are sending out this year are just lovely. I LOVE how you have incorporated Addison. I really considered it this year....but I just...couldn't. It is just a little too hard. Maybe next year. We did have Christmas last year because of Kai. We did a lot of things we wouldn't have otherwise participated in because of our 2.5 year old.
    But what do you do with 200 cards? keep one? or all 200? It is so sad you never got to send them out. I am glad you are sending some out this year. Maybe next year you will have a tree and I will send Christmas cards...

  11. I didn't send cards last year but sent a ton this year. I wanted to shout to the world about our LB and I did. I know that I won't send as many next year but this year I had to do it. Thinking of you all.

  12. Your 2010 cards are gorgeous. You are gorgeous. It makes me angry that you weren't able to send them. It breaks my heart that this is the reality we're all left with. Sucks. That stack of cards, just too sad. The whole thing is just too sad.

    This year's cards are awesome. M could NOT be any cuter!!! I love how you included Addi. I wasn't sure how to handle any of that, so I kind of avoided it :/ Not proud of it, but hey, I'm surviving. I wasn't really even sure how to include the new baby. So I just kind of threw in a picture where you could tell that I'm pregnant. No info, no nothing. No "expecting" much as I'd like to be able to.

    As far as the tree goes, you just do what you feel is right. I mean, it's your house, you can do whatever works best for you.

  13. There are still so many things I wish I would have done...