13 December 2012

Christmas Cards: WWYD

I need your help.

I designed and ordered our family Christmas cards at the end of November.

Christmas 2012 Blog

Christmas 2012 Card Back 2.1

I adore them.

And then I lost my dad.

And my cards were delivered to my house the very next day.

I wanted to tear them into tiny pieces and throw them in the street.

I didn't.

Because I like them.

They've been sitting on my kitchen island ever since.

I'm not quite sure what to do with them now.

On one hand, I really do love them. This is {was?} my favorite time of year and I really enjoy exchanging Christmas cards with friends and family.

On the other?  They say "be merry" when all I want to do is crawl up in a ball.

They say "wishing you all the joys of Christmas" when one of the greatest joys of Christmas was just taken from me.

So, my question to you is... what would you do?  Should I mail them or should I just keep one and throw the rest away?

I'm just not sure...

55 comments:

kennedy said...

Someone receiving your card will be happy that you thought of them - you'll bring joy to someone else by sending them out. It doesn't by any means signify that your life is "normal" or even joyous... and those receiving your cards will know that. Thinking of your family.

Victoria said...

Do whatever feels right to you. Your friends and family will understand if they don't get a card this year. There is no right or wrong answer big hugs to you and your family

Tessa B said...

I don't think there is a right or wrong answer here. What do you think your dad would tell you to do if he was here? I'm so, so sorry for your loss. My T&P are with your family.

juliane2004 said...

Personally I would either mail them (keeping one for myself) or keep all for myself. I can't throw things like this away. Even a whole stack.

Heather said...

I think I agree with Kennedy. It always brings joy to others when they receive a card in the mail, but I wouldn't send them out if you don't feel up to it. Everyone would completely understand either way and they all will know what you are going through even if you send them out. I say, maybe send them out? It may be one thing to help regain some "normalcy" in your life, even though nothing will feel normal for quite some time i'm sure. Thinking of you everyday.

Tempest said...

I lost my dad in September 2011 when I was pregnant with my second child. The grief is blinding at first, which you know all too well. But I think, looking back long after the initial sting has passed (because the underlying pain never truly goes away) You will regret having not shared your cards and beautiful family photo with those close to you. If anything, it's a time to rally together with those who you love and care about...and sending and exchanging cards is just one way to do it.

Heather Frankhouser said...

Mail them..you love them, your friends will love to see the pics and you will bring them happiness which hopefully comes back to you. I'm sure your Dad would want the world to see your beautiful family and the thought & love you put into creating the cards. Your friends will know what you're going through and will probably know you were organized enough to order early in the season before your loss. It might be nice for them to hear from you to know you're doing 'okay' too :0) My thoughts and continued prayers are with all of you.

Krista said...

I also agree with Kennedy. Your cards are beautiful and I think your friends and family will be happy to receive one from you and your family. They know what you're going through, and I bet they'll smile even more when they see this precious card.

Jenna said...

They are beautiful! Certainly do whatever seems best, but I would sent them out. As someone else said they will bring joy to the person who receives them. It's hard to even think of moving on after such a tragic loss, but my guess is your dad would want you to continue to live and in doing so, honor his memory and the great man that he was. So spread the Christmas the cheer if you can. And if not, everyone will certainly understand! Continued prayers for your dear family during this time.

danielle said...

Jenni, Do whatever makes sense and whatever makes you happy... Do you think your dad would want you to send them out? That's the question I'd ask myself... It's a beautiful picture of your family when things were "wonderful." I'm sure your family and friends who receive your card in the mail won't think you are NOT missing your dad or that you are still NOT mourning your awful loss... Whatever you decide will be the right decision:)

J-Berg said...

Mail them, let everyone see your beautiful family. I'm sure your dad was so proud of you and your family, he's want you to show off.

It will brighten everyones spirits during this terribly sad and shocking time.

Please know I'm thinking of you every day.

Jessica J. said...

I would mail them (and keep one for yourself). I think recieving a Christmas card is a joyous and cheerful suprise in the mailbox. Maybe you will find a little joy in knowning that you've brought joy to others.
*Hugs*

Jessica Gibson said...

I would send them. Even though your world is crumbling, to me it would be nice to have some normalcy. If you start addressing them and just can't do it, then keep one and throw the rest away. Do what ever feels right to you. Many prays your way. ♥

Jeannie said...

I agree... I really think you should send them and show off your beautiful family; and your sweet new addition Reid.

Thinking of you every day..
::hugs:: Jenni.

Shannon S-G said...

there is no right or wrong answer, as many have said. take it day by day. address a few to those you really care about, and if you only send out 5, then so be it. keep the rest. or if you don't want to send them at all, people will understand. it should be something you want to do, not something you feel "compelled" to do, KWIM?

Allison said...

Jenni, I don't know you but I worked with Kristi at Malvern for years... I'm really sorry for your family's loss! I lost my Dad last Dec. 1st very suddenly, so I know what you mean about the whole Christmas thing. I did wind up mailing my cards even though I didn't feel like it, but I wanted to try to get through the season as normally as possible. I think if you do mail them out you will be happy that you did, if not, you may regret it later. They are beautiful cards by the way!

Jill said...

You are showcasing your family and the joy that Reid has brought to you and everyone will want to see your family and how they have grown and changed through the year. Yes, your dad is up there looking down... and I think that he would love to see you sharing your love for your family with others, as much as it really doesn't hurt to find joy right now.

You should send them.

They are beautiful.

Kristal said...

:(

I don't think there is a wrong answer, but from the outside looking in, I say mail them.

Not the same, but I found out I miscarried last year and then the next day our Christmas cards came in the mail and I didn't mail them out because I was so sad and angry. Looking back, I wish I would have. <3

Kristal

Audrey said...

I say send them.
I don't know you personally. I didn't know your Dad. But, from reading your blog for the last 4+ years, I know that your Dad was proud of his family. While this Christmas may not be a "Merry" time in your heart, you will make someone's day by sending them a card of your beautiful family.
I wish you all peace and comfort this Christmas!

Meegs said...

Mail them. For all the reasons others have stated so well. They are beautiful.

Anonymous said...

When I first opened this post and saw the topic I thought "That is so awesome that jenni is feeling up to christmas still". Those cards are beautiful, the pictures are beautiful and the beautiful family still exists and will fight on. Please share!
Lara

SusieO said...

I agree with what everyone else has said, do what feels right to you but I would probably send them. They are beautiful cards and people would love to see your smiling faces.

Elaine A. said...

I was going to make a comment very similar to Jill's, up above. I'm SO sorry you lost your father and especially at this time of year.

Natalie said...

Kennedy said it the best, but I think you should do whatever is best for you and your family. Thinking of you, girl.

Kristin said...

Hey Sweetie, do whatever your gut goes with. Everyone will understand EITHER WAY. If it causes you too much grief to do it or you just don' feel like it or you just don't want to? Then don't. If it feels good to tear some up to let out some anger, I say tear away (maybe not too many though, because they are gorgeous ;) If it would help YOU to send them out, then do it. You take care of YOU right now, dear, and those sweet babies, don't worry about anything else.

I've been praying for comfort and peace for you. Sending you so much love. -Kristin (Our Growing Garden ((the blog that once was ;))

Caitlin MidAtlantic said...

Mail them. But perhaps add a quick printed note in honor of your father.

Laura said...

Do what feels right, I don't think anyone will blame you for not sending christmas cards after your loss :( maybe ask yourself what would your Dad want you to do? I think he would still want you to enjoy the holidays and be merry!

Thinking about you in this difficult time :(

Emily Thompson said...

Oh, those cards are gorgeous!!!

Last year, I was 4 months past my dad passing suddenly and I didn't send any. I was just a grump all around though. I dont regret not sending them. However, you have a sweet new addition to show off and that IS pretty much the best card ever. So just go through the motions and send them.

Thinking about you and praying for your family.

Anonymous said...

Send them! I know that this is fresh and new but life doesn't stop. You can not feel guilty for any pleasure that you get from anything right now no matter how little or insignificant (i.e. sending out beautiful cards to your loving and adoring family). This will be one of many hurdles that you will have to cross in the coming days because let's face it, this has come at a particulary difficult time. No need to delay the start of the healing process.....

Censie said...

Mail them. Your father knew you loved this time of year, right? I doubt he would want you to miss out on something you love doing every year. Honor him...send them. Be Merry - he is holding you while you put those stamps.
Much love darlin xoxo

Erin said...

First of all I want to say how sorry I am to hear about your dad passing. I have read your blog for many years since. I lost my dad 6.5 years ago to a very short fight with cancer. I still think about him every day, and I was very angry and hurt in the beginning. I think that you should send the cards because these cards are part of you and your family and something you enjoy. My suggestion would be to give the cards and address to one of the poeple who has offered to help out during this hard time and have them send the cards for you. That way they are sent but you dont have to go through the motion right now, when I can imagine even caring for those beutiful kids can to be hard at the moment. You will continue to be in my thoughts during this unimaginable time.

Peyton Grace Jones said...

I agree with some others, do what your Dad would want. It is such a lovely card and I would bet he would want you to share your family with all the people you love and care about. So sorry for your loss!

Meghan Camino said...

I definitely know how you feel, but I assure you that your friends and family will be happy to hear from you. Maybe for your close family you can include a short hand-written note saying you're all in pain but you were thinking of them and didn't want to throw away your beautiful photos. I hope you find some peace soon, my mom passed away a year and a half ago and I still feel like crawling in a ball most days. Lots of hugs to you.

Danyiel said...

I can't say for sure what I would do, but this is what I think/feel I might do...keep them all for now, give yourself time. You likely have enough to do and just don't feel like it, save the times you do feel like doing anything to just be with your kids and yourself or your mom and sisters...just for your family. Add a Happy New Year to it in January if you feel up to it, everyone will understand.

KC Squared said...

Oh Jenn, I've been thinking about you and your family, praying for your continued grace and comfort in the presence of each other. I lost my grandmother, my 2nd mother, on Christmas day right after opening presents. The holidays will never be the same but you will be able to heal and move forward. Sending you lots of love!

They are beautiful cards with your beautiful family. If you want to send them out as a way to share your family with others, then send them. If you aren't feeling up to it, then send them to me in MD with your list and I'll send them for you :)

Stay strong, lady! Thinking about you!

xoxo,
Kristen

Anonymous said...

Now we talked about this bc I got mine the same day. I took your advice and waited a week bc as you know I wanted to throw them in the street! And I don't know anything anymore bc nothing makes sense to me, but I know I want your card...I love it and it makes me smile. I don't care if you just hand it to me. Love you...all of you xoxo reenie :)

Cathleen said...

Jenni,
Mail them..they are beautiful!
They say the first year and all of the "firsts" are hard...SO start your first Christmas with something that you love it will bring that love & joy to someone else. And just maybe a little bit of comfort and peace to you this holiday.
Thinking of you and your family.

Megan said...

Wow. This one is tough. The cards are beautiful. There is so much hope and love in your smile. And then it all came crashing down. How unfair and painful life can be. My heart hurts for you and your family. We had "the rug" pulled out from under us on 9/26/00.
My 20 year old brother died suddenly in an accident. . That first Christmas was absolute HELL. We cried and cried. My son was almost 3 at the time our family didn't even put up a tree that year. We pulled it together to give him somewhat of a normal Christmas morning. We rented a beach house for a week because we didn't want to be in my parents house for Christmas. Ugh, I'm crying just knowing someone (you) are feeling the pain of loosing someone you love so very much. I wish I could give you a little bit of hope because one day, sweet memories will start to replace the sadness and heartbreak. Grief is such a complex experience. Hugs to you and your family.
I sent out cards with his picture and wrote a Christmas letter. I have a copy of that letter and I pull it out every year and relive the pain of my words as if it were still fresh. 12 years have come and gone and Christmas will never be the same without him. I am sure everyone you were planning to send cards to would enjoy receiving them. Do what you can and know you are in the prayers of so many.

Holly said...

Maybe put them somewhere where you know they are but just wait until you feel ready to send them. That might be never, but I would hold onto them for now. A few months from now you may find them to be part of your healing process and you may want to send them out to your friends and family. I don't think anytime is the right time - your loved ones will be happy anytime you send them your photos in a card.

Becky said...

Censie said it perfect.

Big hugs Jenni!!!!

The BOAT said...

I didn't read the other comments..but here's what I think...
I think you should send them, because your Dad would want everyone to see his Grandbabies, daughter and Son and Law. I'm pretty sure your Dad talked about his Grandbabies all the time, and he wouldn't want to miss a chance to show them off. It will be tough but know you now have the best angel looking down on you and your family.

sara said...

1st so sorry for your loss

about the cards ask some friends to come help you address them i know the task seems impossible but the cards are beautiful everyone should see reid your daddy would want you too...i do think it would be appropriate to include a typed note saying you lost your dad and would appreciate thoughts and prayers through this holiday season and the difficult days and weeks to follow as your family learns to be without him.

prayers to you hun

[apologies for the lack of punctuation my keyboard broke so im using on screen keyboard but wanted to let you know people care]

Anonymous said...

I can only imagine the pain that you are in losing your dad. I have to first say how much you have done for me this year reading your blog. We went through a pregnancy loss earlier this year and our now expecting again. I relate so much to your story and can only tell you how much joy others recieve from you.
I say send the cards. I strongly believe faking it until you make it really does work. As hard as it must be to have such a sudden loss your dad would want for you to carry on. I have a very close friend that lost her dad close to Christmas a few years ago, while the pain never goes away she has been able to find the joy again in the season and what she loved before her loss.
I will continue to pray for peace and healing for you and your family.

Sarah Halstead said...

I am so sorry Jenni. :( Do what feels right to you. There is no right and wrong. Been thinking about you a lot. Let me know if you need anything.

Anonymous said...

I think send them...especially since it's the first one your sweet new addition is a part of! The recipients know the pain you are in and will all the more appreciate you wishing them well during this time. And if nothing else...it'll give you a busy task to do one evening to refocus your attention for just a bit. Also, if it still feels awkward for you to just send the cards, maybe take a few minutes to type out a little note to go along with the card this year...let everyone know how you are and how much you appreciate their prayers...that way you don't have to waste those beautiful cards this year and you can sort of update your friends and say thanks at the same time.

Lonna said...

(Confession: I've been totally stalking your blog.)

I've lost 2 people around this time of year: my dad on Dec. 5th, 1995 and a boyfriend on Dec. 14th, 1995. I still have a horrible time being Merry and Happy around this time of year. I know what your going through and have been thinking of you and Bobby since I heard.

Do whatever your gut is telling you to do...or flip a coin, seriously, because nothing feels right. If you start putting them together and you have the urge to set them on fire, do it (!!!), safely, of course...and after you've put one aside for me.

Jessica said...

This exactly! Thoughts and prayers and hugs go out to you. I hope that you can find peace if even for a day and enjoy Christmas with your beautiful family.

Anonymous said...

My Mom died 3 days before my 19th birthday. Her funeral was ON my 19th birthday.

It sucked. I'm not going to sugar coat it. Unfortunately, life goes on. You end up living a new normal.

Despite the tragic and unexpected loss of my Mother, my birthday is still 4/12 every year. The first couple of years there was always a gray cloud hanging over that day, but it was and always will be my birthday. The day my Mom brought me into this world.

Life goes on and I am sure if your Dad were here he would want you to send them out just like my Mom would have expected me to celebrate my birthday.

Mandey Ejiasi said...

I think I agree with the majority of people, there's no right or wrong here. If it were me, maybe it would be good "busy work" just to get you doing something, addressing envelopes, stuffing, stamping etc. You don't have to write anything. You went through the work to make them and I'm sure your dad would want you to send them, and show off his beautiful children/grandchildren.

Sending my love to you, and hoping you find a little comfort in the coming months. Just know that as much as you want to crawl in a hole, it's important for your kids to know the holidays are happy time. And that your dad would definitely want you all to not mourn his loss but remember the good memories during the holidays you had with him. Maybe even start a new tradition in his memory.

Anonymous said...

I know I wouldn't throw them away. I think I would send them. Especially since you have a new little boy to show off to the world. If you don't personally feel like addressing them, sealing, stamping, and mailing them; then ask a friend for help. I would volunteer, but I'm in Kansas.

Or you could wait and send them when you are ready, even if that is in July or next year.

No matter what you decide it will be the right decision for you at this moment.

Kiara Buechler said...

I would mail them out. Your friends and family will get such joy from seeing your beautiful family.

Mindi @ Simply Stavish said...

Huge hugs to you. Really you have to do what feels right to you. Those are beautiful cards and your dad is looking down on you and your family smiling.

Katie @ Loves of Life said...

oh sweet friend....I adore those cards, but I am so sorry about your dad and the awful feeling that comes at christmastime....hugs, hugs

Karen said...

So sorry for your loss. Thinking of you and your family

Jill said...

Mail them. For sure.

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