Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Christmas Cards (11/06/08)
TITLE: GREETINGS FROM THE HEART
By Carol Clemans
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The thought of Christmas cards brings a myriad of instant reactions from people. Some people have warm fuzzy feelings when the thought of Christmas enters their minds. When they sit down to address their cards and write notes, it’s part of their loving rituals that they do for the Christmas season. Others feel total dismay. Buying cards, addressing cards and getting them sent out is a chore. It’s a chore they dread and they add it to their ‘to do’ list feeling constant pressure to get it all done.
I’ve chosen for over 30 years to make it a time to connect in an informative way to my family and friends through a Christmas letter. I know some people think it is impersonal to send out a typed letter, but I have a different opinion. When Christmas comes and I start receiving Christmas cards, I open them eagerly awaiting a note or update from the family member or friend. When I see just a signature, I feel a little provoked and say to myself, “Well, they could have written a note!” If they are going to spend the money to buy cards, pay for the postage and address the envelope, they could have written a note! Why spend the money and time just for a signature? That’s not the Christmas spirit!
How do I write the Christmas letter? I keep a journal every year with the combinations of family activities, my thoughts and letters to God. If I need a reminder of events that happened in our lives through the year, I can review my journal. I start my letter with a greeting to my family and friends and talk about the blessings of the Lord to us all coming as a Babe in a Manger to bring salvation to all mankind.
Then I write a very brief synopsis of the important events of the year in our lives.
I include some ups and downs, not always just a glowing letter of ‘happy’ events. I add pictures of the family including my growing grandchildren. I have people tell me they look forward to my letter. If I’m a little later than usual, they will ask if I’m sending out a letter this year. I print the letter including pictures on Christmas design paper – front and back if necessary. I address the envelope by hand to bring a more personal touch to the letter.
As the years have gone by, many of those family and friends have started their own Christmas letters. I love receiving them. Several also include pictures and it feels good to connect in this way at least once a year.
Some years, if my life gets too busy to get the letter out early, I wait and do a New Year’s letter. I make sure that everyone who sent me a card/letter that year will receive my New Year’s letter. When my letter is sent after New Years, it might even draw more attention because the stress related to the holidays is over. Everyone can take a sigh of relief and read the letter in a more relaxed atmosphere.
I encourage others to join me in writing a Christmas letter this year. Christmas cards can still be used if you desire and insert the letter in the card. Now we are in the month of November, take time to decide to start your Christmas cards early or surprise everyone and do the family/friends letter. But never forget why Christmas is celebrated.
Our God came from heaven in a robe of flesh in the form of a babe who was laid in a manger. Isaiah 9:6 KJV – says, “For unto us a child is born, unto us a Son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder; and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counseller, The Mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.” Let us focus more on ‘The Mighty God’ who came to bring us salvation and be ‘The Prince of Peace’ in our hearts than on addressing Christmas cards.
The opinions expressed by authors may not necessarily reflect the opinion of FaithWriters.com.
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