You Don’t Want My Christmas Card

Every year I think about sending a Christmas card… but, I don’t do it.

The last time I sent out a Christmas card, it was 1996 and it looked like this—

First Christmas

First Christmas

Yes, that is Leah. She’s a week old… well, not any more. She’s actually 13 and that photo just got me thinking that I should probably send out a card JUST so people know we don’t look like that AT ALL.

I am terrible at sending out Christmas cards. The worst part is, I WANT to be good at it. Every year I buy cards. Sometimes they even have the sticky place to put a photo, because I fool myself into believing I might really pull that off too!

Good Intentions

Good Intentions

My cousin Jen has it down. Hers is always the first card I receive each year. She must do them while we are all taking our turkey induced nap on Thanksgiving.

Perhaps, I should pride mine in being the LAST card people receive… or as reality would have it, the last card they don’t receive. (sigh) I am not good at the Christmas card thing and I should accept it.

Please don’t suggest I email a card, because really… emailed Christmas cards don’t even count! That’s all I am going to say about that.

This year, I sat down with Aaron and mused at the possibility of writing one of those AWESOME Family Christmas Letters. Now there’s a commitment!! I secretly believe some marriages end over those annual productions. I opened the 2009 calendar to see if I could remember what we actually did this year. GAH! First of all, my calendar is 4 feet wide and 3 feet high. The boxes are crammed full of appointments, flight numbers, and the school holidays are highlighted, so we don’t forget and accidentally drop our children off. I could hardly decipher the information, let alone organize it and make it sound lovely.

Be Very Afraid

Be Very Afraid

I tried to conjure something up from the top of my head but the good was TOO good and the bad TOO bad.

Here, I’ll show you. Pictures and all. This is like a Coleman Christmas Letter test-drive.
“Lucy’s rabbit, Snowball, died the week before Christmas. We all cried. Leah found the dead rabbit and brought it into the house as she cried her eyes out.
Lucy: “This really hurts!”
Leah: “Sissie, I am so sorry. I will buy you a new rabbit in the spring with my own money!”
The timing was terrible! I had just told Leah to check on the rabbits, because Aaron and I were leaving for the airport. (Now you know why my babysitters quit! “Bye kids! Oh, by the way, Lucy’s rabbit just died. She’ll probably cry for days. Have fun!”)
I hate seeing my children in pain and not only were they in pain, we had to abandon them right in the middle of it. My great-aunt died the week before, but she was 89, so that’s ok.”
(See! That just came out weird. Let me try something else…)

Lucy and Snowball

Lucy and Snowball

Ummm. “We all did a liquid diet with Lucy before her bowel and bladder surgery. Please don’t ever use the words ‘jell-o’ or ‘broth’ in front of us, because we will dry heave… The surgery was Hell went great but it has taken months to figure out how it all… never mind.”
(Note to all- Leave bowel and bladder updates OUT of Christmas cards. P.S. No one wants to see your scars. No one.)

Pretty Good for 5 Hours of Surgery

Pretty Good for 5 Hours of Surgery

“Aaron and I went to Aruba twice this year!”
(Enough said. No one wants to hear it how you were all warm and tan and visiting exotic locations. Leave gratuitous bikini shots out of Christmas letters, unless there are screaming children in the shot. If you must comment on the beach vacay, look miserable or REALLY put together. Put children in matching outfits and we will all know they are miserable- especially if they are smiling!)
NOT THIS:

Wish You Were Here

Wish You Were Here

THIS:

Who Wears a Dress to the Beach

Who Wears a Dress to the Beach

(By the way, they were SO miserable, heaven forbid your mother makes you wear a dress for an hour on Easter Sunday.)

So far, family and vacation segments were terrible. I know! I’ll tell you about work!

nickjr-logo1
“Signing Time has music videos on Nick Jr.!”
(Just sounds like you’re bragging. I could try, “We haven’t been on public TV for a year.” <—But that sounds like whining. How ’bout “I didn’t get nominated for an Emmy this year.” But really, who did? How many people get nominated for Emmy’s? I really blew it by NOT sending out a Christmas card that year.)

SEE!

Do you see my dilemma?

In a perfect world. I would have a stack of photo-perfect Christmas cards ready to go in the mail with shiny Christmas stamps and all! Each card signed by each member of my little family.

But it’s not a perfect world. Is it?
Or… is it? Somewhere along the line I must’ve decided that sending out Christmas cards equals Having It All Together. <—-Which I don’t even pretend to do.

There is no perfection. It’s all imperfection, so that must be perfect!

Instead of a card, (because we’ve already been through how you are NOT going to get one) I’m going to let you peek in through our snow frosted windows and see three of my favorite Christmas moments. I may suck at cards, but I can safely say that I’m pretty good at videos.

Lucy’s Christmas Gift
The giant box with red ribbon had been under the tree for a week. Lucy kept eyeing it. She knew her name was on it. But, since she can’t hop down and shake her gifts, she didn’t know it was empty… until I put something in it on Christmas day.

I Can’t Believe You Are Crying!
It took me a little while to explain to Aaron why this gift made me so emotional. It’s one thing to buy gear before leaving for a trip. It’s another thing to buy it when there are no trips on the calendar. It was received as a promise of warm weather and good times to come.

Let’s Go Out With A Song
A few years ago, for Christmas, my dad gave me and my sisters some new arrangements of Christmas songs, with 5 part harmonies. This is the first one.
“Sleigh Ride/Jingle Bells” arranged by Lex de Azevedo
Performed by Rebecca, Rachel, Julie, Emilie, and Carrie

Here’s to 2010!

Love~
Rachel, Aaron, Leah, Lucy, & Jack (the rabbit)

This entry was posted in Crazy Little Thing Called Life and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , by Rachel Coleman. Bookmark the permalink.

About Rachel Coleman

The opinions and late night musings published on this blog are Rachel de Azevedo Coleman's alone, and are not ever intended to represent the opinions and sentiments of any organization or product that Rachel is, was, or will be associated with. Rachel Coleman is the creator and Emmy-nominated host of Signing Time!, the children's American Sign Language vocabulary building series. She is also the creator and host of Baby Signing Time, Rachel & the TreeSchoolers, and Rachel & Me. Rachel now serves as the Executive Director of the American Society for Deaf Children, a 501c3 nonprofit established in 1967 by parents of deaf children. ASDC is the American Sign Language organization for families who are raising deaf children. www.deafchildren.org Motivated by her child, Leah's deafness, Rachel has spent the last 18 years creating ASL products to help bridge the communication barrier between hearing and signing communities. In 2006 Rachel founded the Signing Time Foundation, a 501c3 non-profit dedicated to putting communication in the hands of all children of all abilities. In 2014, the Signing Time Foundation launched a 50-Lesson online ASL curriculum called "Sign It: ASL Made Easy" that is available free-of-charge to families with deaf or hard of hearing children ages 36 months and under. Apply at www.mydeafchild.org. For those who do not qualify to receive Sign It ASL for free, they can find it for purchase at very reasonable rates on www.SignItASL.com. Rachel and her husband, Aaron, live in Salt Lake City Utah. They are parents to Leah who was born profoundly deaf, and is now a senior in college at NTID/RIT in Rochester, NY. They are also parents to Lucy who has spina bifida and cerebral palsy, and recently graduated high school. In 2010 the Colemans were joyfully reunited with Rachel's daughter Laura. Rachel is proud to be Laura's birth mom. Laura was placed for adoption as an infant in 1992 when Rachel was 17 years-old.

64 thoughts on “You Don’t Want My Christmas Card

  1. chelsea: Glad I could make you laugh, even after surgery. Here’s to an uneventful recovery.

    Holly: Thank you. Let’s all have lots of happy days in 2010.

    Shelli Clark: Once someone asked if we are driven around in a limos! I said, “Are you kidding? That would be a total waste of money.”
    Not perfect. Not even trying. 🙂

    [Reply]

  2. Hi Rachel, I first learned about signing time a few months ago from my daugther’s PT. The more I read about you, the more I learn about some similarities in our families. My second child was born with spina bifida and she also has unilateral hearing loss. When we found out about her hearing loss, I wanted to learn and teach her ASL. She can hear on one ear but I think that signing is benefitial for her. My first born is does not have a disability but he also enjoys signing.

    [Reply]

  3. What a beautiful Christmas card! My gf always sends out and after Christmas card! so funny! You made me cry. Lucy getting that bunny. Not a dry eye after watching that. Your girls are so lucky to have been born to such a wonderful mommy and daddy to take care of them. When I see things like this I feel guilty for having a healthy child. God bless and take care! I enjoyed your websites!

    [Reply]

  4. Ok, Lucy getting the bunny was like the sweetest thing Ive ever seen, I’m glad I watched in alone because I cried hysterically! Especially after reading about the other one.:( I loved Leah asking her if she wants name suggestions. I love your kids, they are so sweet! Thank you for sharing.:)

    [Reply]

  5. Ps: I cheat and take a cute picture of the kid, load it in the walgreens photo card border with a general nondenominational message for everyone, submit order, pick them up, print and stick address labels and stamps, and mail them on the first. It’s complete horrid slightly impersonal cheating, but the kid wrapped in Christmas lights pretending to be mad disguises this fact, and people think I’m a rock star. Can’t remember what I did without a cute kid to rely on…

    [Reply]

  6. For the past 10 years, I have sent Christmas cards on and off. Some years I did write a lot (of course before kids) some other no so much or even none. This last one 2009, I sent out some cards where I included a picture of my children. The year before I did not send cards. 2008 was the year of my second child’s birth and I was debating what to write, just like you Rachel. My daughter was born with spina bifida and some hearing loss. I did not know what to write, we were waiting to see when her spine surgery was going to take place. We were also trying to figure out how much hearing loss she had.
    It’s nice to know that I’m not the only one that goes through the debate of what to write when Christmas comes around. Rachel I think it’s great all the things you do for your daughters.

    [Reply]

  7. I am a Christmas card slacker as well… I did a google search trying to find out if Signing Time was airing anywhere on tv (again) and I ran into your blog. I am so glad that I did. I have always wanted to tell you what an amazing person I think you are.

    I enjoyed this glimpse into your personal life, watching Lucy get that bunny brought huge tears to my eyes. The girls have grown up so much since I saw them last. Leah is a beautiful young woman!!

    My children love your show, it is so unique to other shows that try to teach children signing, most of them talk at them in boring monotones that kids just don’t care to pay attention to but we watched every episode of Signing Time over and over (and over and over, you know how kids are when they like a show) and *I* never got sick of watching it with them. I even brushed up on my signing as well and I am extremely proud that my children can sign. I owe you. I owe you for their interest in learning to sign and for helping me make it fun for them.

    You have such a full plate and you have done SO much for children with disabilities while still managing to be an amazing mother. You’re my roll model. Thank you for everything you have done. I really look forward to ST being back on the television. Every time I hear you singing a clip I rush in to see if its the show again and it is just one of the excerpts being played on a random channel. Do you ever plan to make new episodes?

    I wish you and your family the absolute best.

    [Reply]

  8. Rachel,
    Loved your blog and getting to know your family! My daughter has Downs and LOVES your videos, (I got ALL of them), and we were SO excited when we saw you on NickJr.
    Seriously, thanks again for your Baby Signing and all the signing videos, they are Fabulous!!

    [Reply]

  9. Rachel,

    Just getting caught up on your blog after having life taken over and straying for a bit…shame on me! You’re an amazing woman and your girls are an inspiration! I’m kinda with ya on the greeting cards…I’ve NEVER sent out a Christmas Letter or picture and I haven’t been struck by lightning yet. Thank goodness for blogs where you don’t have to explain everything in one condensed letter hopefully people follow what’s up through out the year. I loved the Christmas arrangements…did your dad ever get them published so others can have access to them to enjoy? Absolutely loved the harmony!! My girls love signing time keep up the great work!!!

    [Reply]

  10. Pingback: Rachel Coleman » Blog Archive » You TOTALLY Want My Christmas Card

  11. i’am anice daud espejo. with my little brother we love to see singing time all of the nigts i’am 12 years old i’am from chile 4 region. i have learn very much with singing time my little brother tomas know all of the song of singning time(me to ) . i love singning time. well i just whant you to know that singng time has been realy usseful for me beacouse ave teach me many thing(and to my little brother to).kisses for leah lucy and reachel.
    GOODBYE I HOPE YOU READ THIS MEASEGE

    [Reply]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.