Every Advent season, when my husband sees me stooping over the pile of cards and envelopes, flexing and unflexing my writer’s-cramped fist, he asks “Why?”
Why spend all that money creating and sending cards that are likely going to be read once and then hit the waste can?
Why spend hours in an already busy season writing and folding and sealing and stamping?
Why bother when most people are already connected through various forms of social media?
This is my Why.
It is Christmas Eve morning. The coffee is strong and hot, the Swedish angel chime filling the room with a delicate ting-ting as I pore over this year’s stack of Christmas cards.
One friend’s daughter had a lead role in The Nutcracker ballet this year. One family visited the majestic Grand Tetons and another had a ball camping out in the backyard. One friend is expecting a baby in the New Year, and another who lost one has included, among photos of her other children’s faces, a heart arranged from seashells.
These are my people.
Christmas has a way of amplifying the good for me, and these people are so much of my good.
As much as Christmas is represented by twinkle lights on the neighbors’ bushes, the glowing nativity set with plastic Baby J tucked in beneath the bare branches of a friend’s oak tree, and humble gratitude over steaming coffee for an incarnate Redeemer, it is also an uninhibited shout from the mountaintop, clanging bells, parties and poppers, and cards and cookies dropped on neighbors’ doorsteps.
Christmas means connection because Christ came for people.
Whether my Christmas card hit the trash already or is displayed lovingly on the mantel — it’s all good for me.
I’ve shouted to my people, and they have shouted back to me– shouts of hope and connection and belonging to a family of people who, from all over this country and this world, have songs of joy to sing.
Merry Christmas, People.
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