There is no longer to-do list than the one I have during December. It is big, long, and far more ambitious than I am committed to. And at the very top of that list is one thing: actually send my Christmas cards.
I have a bit of a love-hate relationship with Christmas cards. All through the years as my children were growing up, I diligently sent Christmas cards. We had moved away, and I wanted to send a photo and a newsletter to friends and family back home. I also knew that if I stopped sending my own cards, I’d fall off others’ card lists, and I really didn’t want to stop receiving them. I loved getting photos and newsletters from friends and family — well, most of them. Some I just couldn’t bring myself to read because they all sounded so perfect. Their children were smarter than my children. They had better vacations, better husbands, and in general, better lives . . . or so it sounded. The Christmas newsletter was the precursor to social media, except that with the newsletter I only had to hear and see the highlight reel one time a year, not every single day.
But still, sending Christmas cards was always at the top of my list because they are valuable. However, last year I got less than halfway through writing my cards, and I threw them all in the trash — even the ones I had addressed and finished. Time had gotten away from me, and I just couldn’t do it. I couldn’t send only a few, I couldn’t bear to finish them, and I just couldn’t send them after December 25th.
I didn’t send Christmas cards, and I love Christmas cards.
I didn’t send Christmas cards, and I love all things Christmas.
I didn’t send Christmas cards, and I work for a company that makes greeting cards.
I let time slip away last year, and I was sad, and when I think about it, I still get sad — sad I didn’t find or take the time to write Christmas cards because while words are powerful, handwritten words are priceless.
So this is the year. This is the year to be mindful and deliberate, to respond to Christmas with an attitude of worship, like that very first Christmas.
Mary sang her song, and her soul glorified the Lord. Her spirit rejoiced in God her Savior. The song she sang as she acknowledged the great things He had done and His mercy that lifts up the humble and fills the hungry (Luke 1:46-55).
Mary took the time to worship through song, and I will take the time to worship via meaningful words in each Christmas card I write. It might be five cards or fifty cards, but no matter how many, they will be meaningful. Words of hope, joy, and encouragement from me will be found in the mailboxes of my loved ones, not in my trash.
This is the season to slow down, rest, worship, and tell others of the great things He has done. This year I am giving encouragement — and a few gifts, of course!
Here are five tips for writing (and actually sending) Christmas cards:
- Make a Christmas card spreadsheet. Get a count, fill in addresses, and keep track of cards that were sent and/or received.
- Buy stamps ahead of time. Go buy them today!
- Write and address a few cards each night. Pop them in your mailbox each morning, put up the flag, and feel satisfied about getting closer to the finish line.
- Let your kids help! If their handwriting is legible, let them sign the family name on the cards. Give them some stickers or crayons, and let them decorate the envelopes. If they’re older, put them in charge of that spreadsheet, have them pick up stamps at the store, or let them pick out the actual cards. Whatever their ages, they can help out!
- Select Christmas cards that reflect Christ! We love a glittery snowman, but when it comes to cards, we love making it about Jesus. In case you need to stock up, here are a few of our favorites from DaySpring.
Friends, there is still time. Enlist your family to help lick envelopes, crank out those address labels, and send off some Christmas cheer.
For more inspiration, read these articles from DaySpring: