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November 30, 2018

Christmas Cards

by Christine

Does anybody send Christmas cards much anymore?

It seems to be getting a thing of the past for so many.   Since technology has become so popular it seems to be Christmas emails and electronic Christmas cards, more and more instead of a real card delivered in the mailbox.   

Christmas cards, you see boxes of them in the stores; Inspirational, Santa, winter scenes, cartoon characters, cards of all kinds.  The post office still gets Christmas themed stamps every year for the customers. Yet, it doesn’t seem like there are near as many sent as there once was. 

I first started sending Christmas cards in 1982, back then it was just one little box to the immediate family.  Grant, they were much cheaper then, and stamps were way less expensive.  But what started as just a few cards being sent that year to the immediate family just seemed to increase each year.    Before I knew it, I was buying 3 or 4 boxes; then 6 or 8 each year.   

I’d sit for hours the weekend before Thanksgiving going through my address book, making my list of names, addressing envelopes, signing cards and getting them ready to mail the day after Thanksgiving.   

 I absolutely love it!   I love thinking as I’m filling in that person’s name and address that they will have a smile on their face when they go through their mail when it arrives, I wonder about them, sometimes a quick prayer for them or I’ll think of a special memory as I fix their card.  I’d like to think it brings joy to both of us each time.

Do I expect one in return?    Goodness no, the Lord says it is more blessed to give than receive.     When you give anything, even a card,  with love and sincerity it does their heart good and yours also.

The years have brought along a lot of changes to my Christmas card list.  There’s those that have passed on, moved on, got married, got divorced, grew up with families of their own, new Church friends, new coworkers, the annual lists seem to change each year.   But that’s okay, change is part of life. 

Last year I started fixing cards for the seniors and children,  I so enjoyed that.    My granddaughter and I  spent countless hours one weekend fixing over 600 cards with stickers inside each and decorated with all the little Christmas stamps, and signed, yes signed with both our first names in red markers, boxed and off they all went to St. Jude’s Children Hospital in Memphis Tennessee.  

Then we fixed over 400 more and visited a few nursing homes in Cleveland passing out cards in person.  That day was very bittersweet, emotionally trying.  We met so many wonderful folks, some made us laugh, some brought tears.  But oh what a joy we had overall, her and I passing out cards, saying Merry Christmas, sitting with a few, hugs here and there, it was a remarkable day that neither myself or my granddaughter will never forget.

But it had its moments! You never know what’s going to be on the on the other side of a door, until you knock and step inside.   And even though we went to bring cheer to each person, well some of the folks were…. well… they just couldn’t understand.  I guess to them there was this strange woman and girl coming into their room that they did not know.  Neither of us never ever want to scare or startle somebody.    

So this year, I still delivered cards to seniors and shut-ins and the homeless.  But it was simply a drop off to the managers for them to give to all the residents. We still got to share a card and hopefully bring a smile to many many faces, but they each received them from a friendly face they are used to seeing.   

But I pray each and every card brings a smile, maybe a  fond memory of a Christmas long ago.  Because after all isn’t that what Christmas is all about?

Jesus being born, and peace and goodwill to all mankind.   There’s still a couple of days for mailing a card or two, it won’t take any time for just one or two cards and cost very little, to bring a smile to somebody’s face.

Maybe do like I do, I always get a few extra boxes and simply write Merry Christmas on the envelope with a red marker, sign it with a kind quote, or my first name and just give one to people you come in contact with.  The mailman, the UPS, and FedEx folks, the people at the drive-thru window when you stop for coffee, or tea or a bite to eat, random people as your out walking in the store, the cashier as your checking out, a stranger you pass along the way, maybe even the person pumping gas next to you.  There are people everywhere, some so very lonely, so think about it.  

There are so many ways to spread Christmas cheer, so why not try a card? 

You never know, as one little man in a nursing home told me last year with tears in his eyes. ” Thank you so much, this is the first card I ever got.” 

Don’t that choke you up and bring a tear or two?

So go out and smile and say “Merry Christmas” to a few folks, pass along a card, it will do both your hearts good.

From my heart to yours… I want to wish you a very memorable blessed Merry Christmas!                                                                          

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