Monday, December 12, 2011
Every year near the first of December I get our yearly card designed and ordered. It's an artistic challenge! Pictures of the kids and grand kids usually adorn the front. A letter of the past years activities is drafted and edited and printed on Christmasy paper. The address list on my computer is updated and labels are printed off.
Then I sit down and carefully fold, stamp and stick until all 250 or so are ready to go to the PO. The process of preparing all those envelopes gives me time to think about each recipient and recall some very wonderful times. We have family members and eternal friends located across America. Quiet smiles and silent tears accompany me for most of an afternoon.
I do not take my Christmas list lightly!
I utter a small prayer for each person, praying that they are well, that their children and grandchildren are near and that they are enjoying the sights and sounds of this most wonderful time of the year. I pray that each loved one will experience the depth of God's love sometime during December. I consciously hope that each finds a way to celebrate the birth of Christ amidst all the secular trappings of the holiday.
The whole Christmas card task is a serious undertaking for me! And until this moment this whole ordeal has been a closely guarded secret!
Evidently other folks have a Christmas card routine as well, for about mid-December my mailbox begins to be full every day. No more catalogs, just lovely cards, notes, pictures and letters. What a joy it is to hear from a friend that I've not heard from since last Christmas.
I rejoice over new marriages, new babies, new jobs, and successful surgeries. I cry with my friends over the painful news of the death of a family member, a divorce or the struggle of a wayward child. Thanks to the US Post Office we are reaching and touching each other.
In a few years this whole business of sending cards in the mail will probably disappear. E-cards will surely replace the snail mail kind. It's so much more efficient and light years quicker. The wishes no doubt will be just as genuine and heartfelt!
The Post Office itself might be considered a dinosaur nearing extinction!
Christmas cards might be found only in dusty museums or at the bottom of my office closet!
I'm going to miss those long afternoons reflecting and remembering.