As I was looking at our Christmas card this year, I realized my feelings towards Christmas cards have run the gamut over the years. There were the years of duty, where I did Christmas cards because it’s what everyone does. “It’s what you’re supposed to do”. Then there were the years of discontentment, where I would look at Christmas cards and find myself annoyed and resentful at everyone’s perfect, happy families on numerous vacations. Then there were the years I felt like a phony- dressing up and looking perfect when I knew we were far from it. What I realized was this- I was struggling and going through a rough couple of years (ok, more than a couple -ha!), and my reaction to Christmas Cards was a direct correlation of my own personal struggles. It’s kind of embarrassing to admit, but it’s true. It had absolutely nothing to do with the people in the cards and their families. It had everything to do with me (my own issues).
I have a different perspective on Christmas cards this year. (Thank you, God! No seriously, God’s been doing a lot of work on me to get to this point.) When the Houston Chronicle asked if I could send them a family photo to include in their article of our house, I was surprised to find we didn’t have a single picture of the four of us all together in the past year. All of a sudden, I was acutely aware of how quickly these years are going by, and how I’m so, so, so grateful to have Christmas cards to look back on to mark each year. (So grateful in fact, I’ve decided to frame each one of them.) Without a deadline (a Christmas card) to make it happen, I’m not sure we’d have a family photo each year.
Now, I look at Christmas cards in a whole new way. Life is hard, and these cards are the highlights of each of my friend’s lives. They are celebrating God’s love, their family, and their year. Christmas cards are concentrating on the positive, and in the past year, I’ve realized how important that is to do (I’ve had Phil. 4:8-9 on repeat in my head this past year). Even if there were tears that took place behind the scenes and a fight between the spouses, there’s something about commemorating life anyway that really makes me happy.
Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!!!! I hope you have a fun-filled, wonderfully relaxing day.