Read by Email

Why I'm Not Sending Out Christmas Cards

I love Christmas time.

I love the festive music, twinkling lights, and glittery ornaments. 

I love the Hallmark channel's holiday movies (even the uber cheesy ones).

Sweaters.
Hot chocolate.
Peppermint bark.

I love Christmas time.

I could give you a whole host of reasons of why I decided not to send out Christmas cards but I won't.  
Am I too busy? 
Aren't we all? My time isn't any more valuable than yours.
Cost of picture cards?
I can design and print them at home if I wish to do so.
I do not wish to do so.

The reason is this...you know what we're doing, what we look like, what we've done. Social media is a year-round Christmas card. Don't get me wrong, I LOVE receiving cards and letters, especially if the family has little's. I won't be offended if you stop sending me cards but know I love them. 

What would 2014's Christmas letter comprise of? Well...
Phil is still the regional director for LensCrafters.
I am still an author.
Logan is still a homeschooled teenager (he did publish a short story).
My grandpa and grandma passed away. *insert Debbie Downer music*

There you have it.
Christmas letter. Check.
I'm not downplaying any of our accomplishments, but through some form of communication, you know what we've done.  

To those in our family not on social media, i.e. grandparents, uncles, aunts, I am sending them a handwritten cards with a photo of Logan.



















Handsome bugger, isn't he?
Christmas photo. Check.

Last Christmas, I received a few cards from people I never to talk with during the year. Never. Not even on social media. No fault on either part, it's just what happens, but I found it interesting. Is that what those people thought? Do we feel obligated? I know when Logan was little and going through many health issues, I would write my Christmas novel letter with motive. I wanted those people who ever said anything negative or derogatory about Logan or Phil or our situation to eat their words. Show them we are doing just fine, thank you. 

That was the twenty-something Andrea.
I'm 34 and could give a Kris Kringle what people think or say. That prove-to-you mentality sucked the holiday spirit right from my soul. 
















I guess I am sending out cards but only 7. 
To be honest, handwritten cards are obsolete and that saddens me. And signing your name on a card doesn't count (cheaters). 
DO NOT SEND ME AN EMAIL CHRISTMAS CARD. Unless you are my family in Sweden. Don't send an email Christmas card to anyone.
















Perhaps one day I will send Christmas cards again. Maybe during monumental years, when Logan graduates, or when we move overseas, but until that time please know, we love you all and have a fabulous, quirky holiday season. 
xxoo




A Little Quirky Goes A Long Way - For All Ages

Ever wake up, especially on a Monday, and know it's going to be a rough day? We all have those days of wanting to crawl back into bed and hibernate beneath the covers until the Earth's next rotation. 

It's ok. Sometimes it's what we need.

For Logan, his emotions are heightened and with the covers over his head, he's anchored. He feels calm and is able to collect and process what he is feeling. 

As Logan approached the teen years, I didn't want him to fall into the sullen-teen category. I didn't want him to lock away his emotions and hide because they were frightening or too much to handle. For kids on the autism spectrum puberty can be a tough road. I'm the adult, I can work through the hard moments with him, but for Logan, well, he'll explain...

I feel a lot. I feel my emotions and I feel other people's emotions. Some days I'm overwhelmed and my stomach hurts, I cry and I don't know what to do. It's awkward talking to my mom about certain things going on with me, but she listens even if she doesn't have the answers. I talk to my dad when he gets home. He never makes me feel bad about what I am feeling or what I am asking about. I think parents need to be patient with their kids. Not just because they are quirky but being a teenager is scary. I think about graduating, getting a job, figuring out what I want to do all the time. I want to make the right choices now because when I have a wife and kids, I want to be able to support them. I stress out, but I am told not to and to be a kid, but then I'm asked to make decisions about my education and my life. It's confusing. Adults want us to be both at the same time. How are we to pick a future when we can't pick a favorite band or cereal?

Wow. Makes you think. Demands and pressure can be good in moderation. I feel it's motivating and they need to see what real life is about. However, too much, too fast can lead to regression and depression. It took a lot for Logan to express his emotions, his thoughts with us because he didn't want to disappoint us or think he was dramatic or overreacting. 

We didn't think or feel any of that. 
We were proud of him. We cried right along with him. Huge moment for our family. 

I decided it was time to quirk up our environment. It had grown far too serious. Including his schoolroom. I hopped on Amazon and Etsy and clicked until I felt the quirky force within me. 

In the schoolroom we have a "Quirky Kit". When the Debbie Downer's knock on our door, we answer it with a mustache or tiara or both. The multi-colored pencils are for Logan to express any feelings or anything on paper--in funky twisted colors, of course--and the uniqueness box is a reminder of how awesomely different we are and we shouldn't be any other way. I've changed out some items over the years, but my now 14 1/2 year old still loves it.    

We have a quirky wall which really doesn't need much explanation. 


For us, the teenage years have been great. Logan is more affectionate with me and Phil. He's tip toeing out of his comfort zone, trying new things. Who would have thought that? Not me. Not Phil. Logan has self-published a scary short story and he wants to write more (music to my literary heart).When my parents were visiting, Logan put his arm around my mom's shoulders, he rested his head against hers. It was monumental and very sweet. 

Of course, we have off days and a fuzzy fake mustache or a felt pirate patch isn't going to make it better, but we have fabulous days filled with silliness and weird conversations. The good outweigh the bad. 

I've been asked, "Why do that to your house? You decorate for your kid? That stuff is weird. What would people think?"

I reply with, "Why not? Weird is awesome. I decorate for us. And who is coming to my house, the Queen of England? Even if she were, I wouldn't change it."

#twisteddarkhumor

This is what works for our family. This is what helps our high functioning spectrum kid. I would glue mustaches to every wall if that brought him out of an overload, emotional funk or inspired a new story or song. Or even a new scientific theory (that's happened before). Really, I think everyone should have a quirky kit on hand. A few items to make you laugh, be silly, bring out your inner kid as an adult. 

It's not about either/or, it's about living life and being happy. It's about showing the world YOU!
Quirks and all.