Wednesday, November 08, 2006

What's in a Christmas Card?

It's that time of year again, when we all start thinking about Christmas cards. I really look forward to this time of year, because it is the one time of year when I get to hear from all of my family and friends. I just love reading all of the letters and seeing all of the photos!

I do wish that more people would take the time to write a short note or letter to include with their card though, but  if I get a card that just has a name signed at the bottom: I say to myself "Praise God! They are alive and well enough to send out cards and they thought of me/our family. " Even though, I would still really love to hear their news.

Contrary to popular belief: I don't find Christmas letters annoying and I don't think that they are "brag" letters. I think that Christmas is the one time of year when people actually force themselves to take the time to slow down, sit down, and think about what wonderful things have happened to them and their families throughout the course of the year. And often times writing one letter -- that can be mechanically reproduced -- is easier than handwriting a note in each and every card, especially if you have a lot of cards to send out.

How SAD for those who get green with envy when they read a Christmas letter and as a cover-up for their own inadequacy they resort to calling the letters "brag" letters!

I have an Aunt, on my husband's side of the family, call my Christmas letter a "BRAG" letter -- among other things -- one year, and it really hurt my feelings at first. Ken and I had just struggled so much to put ourselves through college.  It was nice to finally to be moving ahead and reaping the rewards of our hard work, so we wanted to share. Well this Aunt really hurt my feelings and I began to think that maybe others truly did see our Christmas letter as bragging, so I didn't do a Christmas letter the next year.  Shortly thereafter, everyone was calling and emailing me asking if Ken and I were doing okay?  And where was my letter?  It turns out that everyone missed hearing our news. So now, I will include a Christmas letter with my Christmas card and if people take it the wrong way: that is just their own problem --NOT MINE! They can throw my letter away for all I care.  They don't have to read it if it bothers them.

As for my husband's Aunt, I realize now that she has a lot of hate, hurt, and anger that are her own issues and not mine. I refuse to take that on. So she is simply no longer on our Christmas list for a letter. I hope that she works out her issues so that she can find her own peace, healing, and happiness.

I have one friend who sketches out her family's Christmas letter with stick figures and multiple choice questions that are just hilarious. How creative! We always look forward to seeing how unique her letter will be each year.

So if you can, put a little effort into it this year! Put something out there about you and your family ... make a personal connection. Dare to go a step beyond just signing and addressing your card.  You'd be surprised how much this effort reaches out and really connects you to your friends and family.

And for those of you who have the time, energy, and presence of mind to actually write a personal note to each and every person on your list: God Bless You! And more power to you!

Happy Christmas Card composing  =)


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