Sunday, December 20, 2009

I Am A Bit of A Procrastinator, What About You?

Every year I debate if I'm going to send Christmas cards and then end up doing it. I know it's nice to hear from people at Christmas time, especially ones we don't see throughout the year, but I know our cards just get tossed into a basket. Then next year we throw them away to make room for the new ones. I update my "card" list throughout the year and usually buy cards for next year when they go on sale after Christmas.

When I used to ask my dad if he was going to send Christmas cards this year, he always would. He'd always be sure to buy a religious one to send. They are getting harder and harder to find. Most say "Happy Holidays" or "Holiday Season." Many have very cute pictures of animals or beautiful scenery, but those aren't really projecting the true meaning of Christmas. Therefore, I too always buy the religious ones. I figure if the Christians don't, who will.

I used to call my dad a "fuss budget" because he always made extra unnecessary work for himself in my opinion. He'd fuss with stupid things. His Christmas card "ritual" is one example. He kept track on paper of who he got cards from and would make sure to send them one back if they weren't on his list. But just a check mark wasn't good enough. He put the date he received a card. Then he'd also have a list of people that he sent cards to and keep going over and over his lists.

Harry sent out cards every year in December. The last six years or so of his life, I printed out mailing labels for him so he didn't have to write as much. It was a bit difficult for him to write because of arthritis in his fingers. The last Christmas before he died (2006), he got behind schedule and didn't get his cards out on time because of the medication he had been taking that made him so drowsy that he'd fall asleep for long periods through the day and wouldn't get anything done. I felt bad for him and offered to do them for him, but he wouldn't hear of it. He said, "Oh no, I can do it." I suggested that it wasn't mandatory and that maybe he just shouldn't bother with it this year, but he said, "Oh, I want to send them out so people know I'm still alive. Otherwise, they may wonder."

So, his last Christmas, came and went and he didn't get his cards done in time but sent them out after Christmas so people would know he was still alive. He said he wanted to put a note inside explaining to the people why his cards were sent so late so I offered to type up little notes for him to just insert inside. After I explained he could tell me what he wanted it to say and I would type it up, and print them from the computer, he finally understood and started dictating away. He died the following February, two days after Valentine's Day. (This is reposted from 12/22/08)

To find out more about my book and why I wrote it, read the Foreword here.
Tweet This

Tweet Me from My Funny Dad, Harry


The Girl Next Door Grows Up said...

My parents are like that and if they do not get a card they wonder for weeks if the person has died.

LadyFi said...

I am a bit of a procrastinator, but do finally get things done, even if I have to rush it at the end...

Mike Foster said...

Hope you and yours have a wonderful holiday season and amazing 2010!

Happy Holidays from livelife365

Online Management Degrees said...

Considering the price of cards and stamps, do you think it is appropriate to send Christmas cards over internet? It seems that this old Christmas card custom is quickly fading away and I don't like it. When I was a child we use to get hundreds of them, but not anymore.

Confessions From A Working Mom said...

My Grama is like that with Christmas cards, although now that she's getting older, sometimes she forgets to check off her list... hence why I received three cards from her already this year (and my mom tells me one more is in the mail).


Sharkbytes said...

I may take the procrastinator test, but I don't need to. I'll score an A+. My mom once sent me a notepad that said "National Procrastinator's Week Has Been Postponed Until Next Month." Wishing you fond memories of your dad!

Colleen @ MuralMaker&More said...

Thanks for stopping by my blog the other day. Glad your dad got to enjoy a portrait of his kitty.
Have a wonderful holiday.

Lynne said...

I was really bad this year. I thought I all ready had purchased cards after the holidays last year, so didn't bother to shop for any. Then procrastinated in sitting down to write them out. When I finally did, I realized I had no cards to send! Had to go out shopping to get some. Got them in the mail finally, this afternoon!
By the way, I do keep track of everyone I receive a card from and who I send them to, but not quite in the detail that Harry did!

Karen, author of "My Funny Dad, Harry" said...

The Girl Next Door: I guess as we age, we'll wonder the same thing.

LadyFi: Usually I get things done ahead of schedule unless something unexpected comes up to put me behind.

Mike: Thanks, you too!

Online Management Degrees: I think lots of people have cut down their card lists due to the expense and the time involved. I sent my Christmas letter and ecards by email to those I had email addresses for and just sent regular cards with the letter enclosed to those who I know don't go online much or that I don't have emails for. If it's not appropriate, too bad.

Confessions from Working Mom: That's funny, at least my dad wasn't that bad. He was very meticulous when it came to lists.

Sharkbytes: Funny!

Lynne: I used to buy cards for the next year the day after Christmas, but when dad died, he had so many that I'm still using some of his! Ht had tons of wrapping paper too but that I donated to a school's garage sale because I just didn't have the space to store it. He sure stocked up on things.

Quasi Serendipita said...

Visiting from SITS :) Have a lovely Christmas!

Karen said...

I am SO bad about sending Christmas cards. I don't even get around to sending them to the beautiful people that take the time to send them to me.

After reading this story, I sort of feel like I really don't have any excuses!

metal engraving said...

im a procrastinator. I have a lot of work i need to get done (i have to read three books and do 30 book reports by august 28) i keep telling myself ill get done or ill do it tomorow. i even made a schedule but being me i havent been following it. What can i do to get this done now instead of later. thanx.

Mrs4444 said...

That's really sweet--I'm sure your dad appreciated that. Such a little thing but a big deal under his circumstances. You're a great daughter :)

"My Funny Dad, Harry" Book Giveaway

Congratulations to all the winners of the giveaway for "My Funny Dad, Harry" at Red Pine Mountain. I am so happy that four of my regular commenters won! Read what Tim thought of it at Everyday Living.