It feels, this year, as if Christmas has just sort of snuck up on us. It is not as if I haven’t known, all along, that the 25th is exactly 25 days into December, or the date of each day as it passes, and we took care of a majority of the shopping early on in the month. But as for the rest of it – all the preparation for Christmas, like putting lights up around the porch, or mailing out presents, or writing the holiday letter and sending out the cards – all of that has been on hold for ‘some time in the near future’, until suddenly, here we are, the weekend before Christmas, and time has suddenly run out. Oops.

So today was all about trying to deal with all the last minute stuff that is still worth doing. We wrapped and shipped the last of the gifts that needed to be mailed (and paid an arm and a leg for the ability for them to arrive by the afternoon of Christmas Eve. We made a grocery list of everything we will need for Christmas day, along with the usual assortment of items like dishwasher detergent, and toilet paper, and cheese. And we finally sat down and dealt with the Christmas cards.

In years past, doing the holiday letter has been a several-day process. One person comes up with a bullet list of what to write about, the second person adds to the list; one person writes a paragraph or two about each item, and then we each edit the other’s contributions, until we get it all into one page, sometimes with a picture (usually of one of the cats). Today, however, we whipped that thing out in record time; printing them all out took longer than it did to write it. So while the letters were printing, we sat at our respective desks and addressed a bazillion Christmas cards, and then we sat in the living room and signed and stuffed and sealed all the envelopes while watching another episode or two of Charmed via Netflix streaming.

I took a few moments, during the process, to read back through the previous years’ letters. We still have copies, going back to the year we were married, and it was rather fun, to read through them all. Holiday letters only give a brief glimpse into a life – the highlights of the year, condensed into a one-page format. But even those brief snippets were enough to spark memories.

‘Tis the season for Holidailies.

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