Don't get me wrong - I love Christmas preparations! However, I have to admit that there a few jobs whose completion causes me incredible relief.
Take card writing. For me it's one of the most stressful Christmas jobs. I love writing each individual card. As I write I remember the men and women with whom I trained for the ministry, the old school friends, the people whom I haven't seen for ages but who still have a place in my heart. For each of them I add a note, a do-you-remember or an inquiry after their children or grandchildren.
Then there are the cards to people who show me great kindness and Christmas is a time to reflect and say thank-you. Although scarcely a day goes by without my saying thank you for an act of kindness, Christmas is the time to thank people for just being so kind. One neighbour pushes my wheely bin to the kerb each week, someone else does occasional shopping, And of course Jack gets a very special card.
There are family members whom I see once on a blue moon. I always choose a family photo from my collection dating back nearly eighty years and send copies to my various cousins.
And so on. Few cards leave the house without some sort of a personal note and each note is a joy to write. I don't have to write the note, I could just sign the card, but each individual card is a joy. The stress is in the sheer size of the whole job. I know I could make it easier for myself but I really don't want to! It's just that although each card is a joy, the overall task is mammoth.
But yesterday the cards went into the post and now i can sit back and wait for cards to arrive.
And then remember the people I have forgotten to send to.