It’s almost that time again. Okay, okay… it’s still about 9 weeks away, but Christmas is still right around the corner! And if you are anything like me, I have a tendency of putting Christmas shopping and sending out Christmas letters out until the last minute.
Mid -November through mid-February fly by for us. We have our yearly “Thanksmas” trip to Iowa a week or two before Thanksgiving. We then drive to Wichita for Thanksgiving. We have a few weeks off (scattered with Christmas parties and last-minute shopping) then drive to Wichita for Christmas. We celebrate New Years, on January 12th we celebrate our anniversary, followed by Tyler’s birthday on January 23rd, followed by my birthday on February 13th, and ending our seasonal holiday/anniversary/birthday rush after Valentine’s Day. Sometimes I wish things were spread out a little bit!
Getting back to where I was going before my rant “we’re-so-busy” rant… last year in between our whirlwind of the holiday months, we designed and sent a Christmas card that was a year in review infograph design. To be honest, I skim through any Christmas letter we get unless it’s uber exciting. I think a year in review style infograph is perfect! You are still able to share the highlights of your year with friends and family, but you don’t have to bore them with all of the details – because the truth of the matter is, 95% of your year is pretty boring. A year in review infograph makes your life seem, well, a little more exciting. It also makes you stop and think about the awesome things you were able to accomplish in the past year. Plus it’s prettier than a traditional letter!
So, without further ado, here is the 2011 Christmas card year in review infograph we made.
Written Christmas 2011:
I’ve gotten a little behind in blogging, to say the least! It hasn’t edged its way back into my top priorities list. As you can see, we’ve been just a tad busy with traveling this year. I am madly in love with traveling. It happens to be my second love (after Tyler, of course!). If you would ever ask me what my dream job would be, I would give you a big smile and gaze off whimsically as I told you my dreams of being a host on a fun and edgy travel show. Actually, I would probably give you a way more responsible and corporate-y answer in real life, but that is what I would really want to tell you.
Tyler and I had a discussion this past week while we both had a whole entire week off of work (and we didn’t go anywhere – I know, shocking, right?). We went for a spur of the moment walk at a park during one of our afternoons of laziness endless house projects. It happened to be almost 60 degrees outside and we found a cozy little bench right next to a huge pond. We sat there for a bit soaking up the winter sun as it hit our faces after reflecting off of the water. Mmmm. The sun. Love it.
Tyler told me that everyone needs to get away from their houses. Their work. Their “normal life” and do nothing. Just sit outside and enjoy something. Anything. And that’s when it dawned on me why I [heart] traveling so much. Traveling forces you to get away from it all and spend time with people you really care about. You don’t have to think about work. You don’t have 1,673 house projects staring you in the face. You may have to think about how much you are spending, but if you saved and budgeted your trip right, you shouldn’t feel bad about spending money on vacation! You should spend money on vacation. Maybe that means you don’t go as far, but a trip is still a trip no matter how far you travel. You still get to try new things and be in situations you would probably never encounter in “real life”…and splurge on an activity or meal you would never spend money on at home.
Plus traveling makes for great bonding! I think Tyler and my relationship grew 600x when we spent two weeks together traveling Europe. The rough way. (Think hostels every night.) Or when I spent 5 days with two of my girlfriends in Chicago. We learned so much about each other that trip – and more than just the fact we could all spend 8+ hours in Ikea.
So in 2012 we still plan to do as much traveling as we can. We may not top 2011, but with our tentative itinerary, we may get close.
As far as 2012, kids are still not in the plan for a few years (“not in the plan” being the key phrase there). I gotta get this travel bug out of me first and get my career established. We also have some financial goals we want to reach. You know, all that “being responsible” stuff. Although I’m sure people would tell us you can never be 100% ready. We get that, but the truth is, we kind of like this no pets, no kids, traveling the world thing going on… at least for now!
This year isn’t panning out to be as crazy-busy as last year. Maybe that means we will finally get our fixer-upper house done (after 4 years). Or maybe not.
We hope you had a very merry Christmas! Wishing you the best of 2012! And don’t forget to take a trip!
Here are some examples we used as a jumping-off point for us. We needed a few visuals to help get us started and then when we had a general working template, we tweaked the design and added and took away what we wanted to. (Sources are noted below image.)
Let me know if you have an awesome year in review infograph you would like me to link to!