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Memories of Christmas Cards

Memories of Christmas Cards. It's taken some time, but now I find myself actually looking forward to writing our Christmas letter. I've even managed to find some advantages to writing a letter verses individual cards.

I still remember the disappointment I felt in December 1991 when Dan told me I would have to do a Christmas letter instead of sending individual Christmas cards. I was used to spending time choosing just the right card, then hand-writing a note in most of the 70 cards we sent out. I didn’t really intend to write a note in each one, but as I addressed each envelope I would remember something special we had done with that person or that they had done for us, and I just couldn’t help but jot them a little note. Believe me, I tried to shorten the list of handwritten notes, but each year I found myself compelled to write in “just one more card.” We only send cards to people we don’t see on a regular basis, since the ones we see often we can personally wish Merry Christmas, so this too pressed me to make the extra effort to write my beloved notes.

But Dan was right. With three children under 5, and Eric a preemie needing extra care, I just didn’t have time to hand-write 70 cards. But a bunch of copied letters seemed so – so – impersonal.

It was with great doubts that I sat down to type that first Christmas letter. What could I possibly say that would be meaningful to our family and friends, and not seem like mass production?

It’s taken some time, but now I find myself actually looking forward to writing our Christmas letter. I’ve even managed to find some advantages to writing a letter verses individual cards.

•      I’ve kept a copy of each of our Christmas letters. This has become sort of a “family history” since we include much of what has happened during the year. I just read through a few of them this year and spent some time reminiscing. This year I’ve decided to slip them into the sleeves of a photo album to put on the coffee table during the holidays so we can all enjoy the memories.

•      We’ve had our children sign the original, so we have a sample of their handwriting from each year.

•      We’ve also had fun finding ways to have each of our pets sign them. Our parakeet tracks are so cute! I’m not sure how the snake will sign it this year.

•      It’s fun to see the different ways we’ve done them. Some are more elaborate, others quite simple.

•      We do it as a family – so we talk about the different people we send to. Even small children can affix address labels and stamps. Our children have gotten to “know” some of these family members and friends that we don’t see very often, as we discuss them while we fold, stuff envelopes, and address our letters. We often stop to pray for families that are struggling.

•      We also brainstorm as a family for ideas to put into our letter. Once again it provides an opportunity to remember the fun we’ve had and the Lord’s provision during the past year.

So, as I sat down to write this year’s letter, I fondly remembered my cards, but… my heart is now in our Christmas letters. Although, I must confess, I still find myself jotting a little note here and there. I guess some habits are just too hard to break.

Finding Joy in the Journey,

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Phyllis Sather
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  • Marcy @ Ben and Me
    Posted December 15, 2013 at 1:04 AM

    when my husband bought a vintage Mrs. Beasley doll for me 5 years ago, to replace the one I had as a child.

  • Ginger
    Posted December 9, 2013 at 1:45 PM

    My favorite Christmas memory is us opening up our new pj’s the night before.

  • Norma
    Posted December 9, 2013 at 1:17 PM

    I have always kept the letters we get from Friends and pictures. I started a special album just for these letters and pictures. Its really fun to go back and read them and look at the pictures and see how time passes and they get older and have wonderful descriptive letters of their own families.

    • Post Author
      Phyllis Sather
      Posted December 9, 2013 at 4:54 PM

      That’s a wonderful plan. My mother-in-law kept all the letters I wrote her and when she died my father-in-law gave them all to me. It’s like a huge diary. Someday…I’m going to read them.

  • Post Author
    Phyllis Sather
    Posted December 5, 2013 at 7:53 AM

    Sounds like a plan. Hopefully your children will find it useful.

  • Nancy Meacham-Cole
    Posted December 4, 2013 at 12:28 AM

    My children are the most wonderful in the world. Starting when my oldest of seven children was 9 years old, the children began collecting free things they found or picked up as giveaways at fairs, gift shows, etc, and they filled huge stockings with their finds and laid them out near our bed to be found in the morning. Of course, we parents made stockings for each of the children and hung them on their doorknob or near their side of the bed, but they weren’t nearly as big. Even to this day, where the youngest is 26 and the oldest is 41, the kids still make a stocking for me to open on Christmas morning!

  • Daniel L. Newcomb
    Posted December 3, 2013 at 5:22 PM

    I love the fall season and the holidays associated with it. Christmas is a beautiful time of the year and I enjoy the fact that we use it to celebrate the birth of our salvation. I don’t know if I have a favorite memory. They are all good.

  • Mahdi Martin
    Posted December 2, 2013 at 11:51 PM

    My favorite Christmas memory is when my mom made teepees and Native American dress and all the accessories for my Barbies. She was a crafty woman.

  • Jenifer
    Posted December 2, 2013 at 7:23 PM

    I LOVE the idea of the letters being a family history! That is so wonderful. We used to do cards, but I found with four little ones and so much to do with our ministries at church, that I just didn’t have the time. We did letters a couple of years, but haven’t done anything in awhile.

  • Michelle Devine
    Posted December 2, 2013 at 6:58 PM

    My favorite memory was waking up Christmas morning and all the excitement!

  • Orilla Crider
    Posted December 2, 2013 at 5:29 PM

    My greatest memory of Christmas is in 2002 when I brought my miracle baby home from the hospital on Christmas Eve. We were never supposed to have children and God gave me two. Our Christmas baby is our special needs baby, but he brings us so much joy!

  • Piper Stephens
    Posted December 2, 2013 at 11:53 AM

    My favorite memory is being at my grandmother’s house on Christmas Eve sitting beside her Silvery Tinsel tree watching the colors change with the turning of the color wheel. While smelling the aromas of all her holiday foods…. country ham biscuits are still a favorite staple of Christmas Eve foods even 40+ yrs later.

    • Post Author
      Phyllis Sather
      Posted December 2, 2013 at 1:10 PM

      Grandma memories are great. All my grandparents were dead by the time I was six so I missed them.

  • Jessica Chenoweth
    Posted December 2, 2013 at 11:03 AM

    I never thought about Christmas letters being a great way to remember family history. Thanks for sharing!

    • Post Author
      Phyllis Sather
      Posted December 2, 2013 at 1:10 PM

      My son (22) was actually reading them awhile back.

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