One of my rituals for this new year is to choose a word for the coming year. My word for 2011 is EXPERIMENT. You can read more about that here. To support my EXPERIMENTAL focus, I commit to post the results of a new experiment each Sunday of this year. I’ll warn you in advance, the movie rights for these Experimental Year post haven’t been sold. Some of these experiments will seem larger than others. Some will seem inconsequential – to you. They won’t be to me though. What they all represent to me is a willingness to learn, stretch and discover. As always, I welcome your comments, reactions and observations.
The experiment I’m reporting on this week was HUGE for me.
For more years than I can recall, creating, writing messages and mailing Christmas cards has been such a holy gig for me. It still IS.
Years ago, my tradition was to have them in the mail the Monday after Thanksgiving. Then that shifted to mid- December. Then the week of Christmas Day. And this year, I enjoyed a New Years Day of writing (not as many as I have in years past) Christmas cards.
For those of you who don’t know, my Episcopal roots are deep. I love that whole Church Year thing. So I get that, according to my faith traditions, it’s Christmas until Jan 6. So technically, I wasn’t LATE.
Who cares if I was? I did hear from a few dear folk – wondering where their card was. I let them know it WOULD arrive. And it did.
I’m a papermaker – a greeting card maker. So I CELEBRATE real paper cards sent through the mail. Things we can touch. Something with our handwriting and a stamp on it. Call me crazy – go ahead.
Here’s what I learned in this experiment. The world didn’t end when my Christmas cards went out after Christmas Day. And next year they WILL be mailed before Christmas day.
NOT because I feel pressured or guilty, but because I missed creating space to connect with people I love.
I know a lot of people (not just Christians) struggle with the whole Christmas card thing. Please don’t hear/read me telling you what YOU need to do. I can just tell you that this experiment didn’t work for me.