“Hey, Girlfriend, what’s with all the Christmas cards?” Bev came bouncing into my apartment and stopped short when she saw the clutter on the kitchen table. Stacks and boxes of holiday cards, in all sizes and styles were piled around the stationery items and open address book in front of me.
I set my Bic aside and rose to pour a cup of coffee for my lovable friend. “Well, I thought I better get a start on the cards I’m sending out this year. I hate to procrastinate and have to rush at the last minute.”
Beverly choked on the first sip of French Roast. “I hate to mention this, Anj, but maybe you need a little-bitty reminder. Today just happens to be the twenty-seventh of October. Procrastinate? Seems more like jumping the gun, big time.”
Smiling, I moved the pile of sealed and addressed envelopes from a chair to the counter. “Have a seat before you dribble more coffee on your sweatshirt,” I said, and pointing at the stain, handed Bev a paper towel. “This might seem early to you, but I’m a slow letter-writer.”
“Angela, are you telling me you actually send a hand-written letter in each card? You have a computer, for Pete’s sake. Get with the times, woman! Just type your news and print out copies. That’s what everybody has been doing for ages; then you can wait until Thanksgiving before sending greetings. Well, gotta run. Thanks for the great java, Sweetie.”
Beverly opened her card from Angela the second week of December. Sure enough, the beautiful card contained a hand-written letter:
Wishing you joy on this wonderful day celebrating the miraculous birth of Our Lord.
There is no point in me telling you my news since you already know what I’ve been doing! I will, however, tell you something that’s been resting in my heart that might be news to you. It is my hope that this little note will convey my feelings much better than I could do in conversation.
You, Beverly, are the most important news item of the year. Since I met you last spring, my life has been changed from a dull existence to one of great expectations. Your bubbly personality, your encouragement, and your optimism enrich my days. You make me smile, you make me laugh, you make me joyful just to be alive. When I feel despair, you cry with me. If I start to lose hope, you remind me of God’s promises.
Our shopping trips have always turned out to be adventures. Remember the day when we tried on dresses at Maxine’s? We were stripped down to our unmentionables before discovering we wandered into the wrong dressing room. I was afraid that man would have a heart attack!
How could either of us forget our double-date with the twin wrestlers? Oh, my, I really have tried to forget that particular evening. Bless you for carrying mace.
When my poor old cat died, you gave me a hug and lots of sympathy. You helped me dig the grave and said a prayer. You even showed up the next day with a carved pet marker!
Oh, and remember our camping trip? I counted it a disaster after having a flat tire, losing our way, and being stuck in an unrelenting downpour. But you? Saying something about lemons and making lemonade, you just laughed. We ended up spending the weekend inside the leaky tent playing cards, telling ghost stories, and eating take-out. We had a blast.
For these few reasons and much more, I thank you for making every day special. I wish you a very merry Christmas and a happy, healthy New Year. May God bless you ten times ten times ten, for through His grace you have certainly blessed me.
On New Year’s Day, Beverly took down the tree and stowed all the decorations. She put the crumpled wrapping paper and ribbons into trash bags. The Christmas cards and newsletters from friends were also discarded. All, that is, except one.
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