What is it about good mail that just makes your day?
You know what I’m talking about, right? When you open your mailbox and go about the normal sorting through of bills, flyers, magazines, and more bills…and then there it is…a piece of “good mail.” In a colored or different sized envelope…an actual stamp in the top corner instead of the “presorted bulk mail” inked up there….and the best part…the handwriting. Evidence that an actual person has spent time on something…for you. Isn’t that just the best feeling when the fast rifling through slows to a stop and the anticipation of what happiness is inside that envelope builds? It’s like Charlie finding the golden ticket to visit Wonka Land. I love good mail.
And Christmas is my most favorite time of year for mail. Almost every day brings at least one piece of good mail.
Tis the season for Christmas cards…
I LOVE Christmas cards. Any card will do, but I have to be honest and say that my most favorite ones are the ones with pictures. Pictures of family, pictures of friends, pictures of old friends I haven’t seen in ages with children I’ve never had the chance to meet. I LOVE it. I love the connection of past and present all jumbled together…all hung from a string around my doorway…visible to me multiple times per day. I love the memories of each friend that come flooding back as I look at the cards….fun times, life shared, connections made.
They don’t come without a cost either…Christmas cards. There’s the cost of printing them… which isn’t so bad as the cost of mailing them. And to stuff them and address them takes quite a bit of time. But what really takes time is keeping up with all the addresses. Going back through the previous years list, emailing, calling, collecting addresses of the friends who have moved, or new people to whom you’d like to send a card this year. And for me…it’s time well spent. It’s a little thing…a little time….that brings joy and says “I care about you.” And I love to send them…and I love to get them!
I’ve been working on our family’s Christmas card today. I designed them and uploaded pictures, agonized over text and word placement and paper quality, and waited on a painfully slow internet connection to upload them to the printer. I even paid for faster shipping so that I have them and send them in time for Christmas.
Not that Jesus really cares one iota that I get a card in the mail in time for his birthday. I mean, he’s the reason behind it all. But I wonder what he thinks about the whole card thing?
I think He loves it too. I think He loves the extra time that people take to pour into one another and to say “I care.” Because no matter how commercialized Hallmark, and Walmart, and every mall in America want to make His birthday…how un-Christ centered our culture dares to make Christmas….still, I think He loves that during this season more than any other, people take time for connection and community and life together more than any other time of year. When Jesus walked the earth, He was all about loving people…and taking time to let them know how much. And He’s still about the business of loving people…and pouring out…and telling them.
I’m not trying to over spiritualize Christmas cards, but I do love that they are significant of effort made to connect and reconnect with one another…to build community and keep ties to special people in our lives open…to not close some doors of our past…and to make room for new doors in our future. Jesus was all about open doors…and I think he’d have sent cards to people too….just to say he cared.
But that’s just me. What do you think?