Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Finding the Meaning in Blank Christmas Cards

I have never made Christmas cards online before.  Last year I went to a store and made them in the store.  Before that I had a friend who took our pictures and she designed our cards for us and I ordered them from her.  This year was unique as we never found time to have our pictures taken.  My only option was to use pictures we already had.

I went online picked out a card and placed the pictures in the picture spots.  I previewed the card and placed the order.  I then received a phone call from my husband.  Vaughn: "Did you have some trouble with the online program honey?"  Me: "No I don't think so?  It said it would be ready tomorrow."  Vaughn: "Yeah, they are printing now and they are blank." 

Sixty.  That would be the number of example cards that have no pictures and the wrong name that I had printed by mistake. 

What I hadn't done was hit the save button before sending them.  I didn't think I needed to save them as I didn't feel I would need to order more.  No that is the key, you have to hit save, then preview, and then place the order.  Information that would have been helpful the first time around.

Technology is not my friend.  I think this may be proof.  I have one of the blank cards I stuck in my purse to show my friends how brilliant I am.  Just another clip from the Christmas card files. 

All of this got me to thinking about how hard we try to have everything perfect...especially at Christmas.  Christmas cards have been our "thing" for several years.  We even had themes for our cards.  People would look forward to seeing what the theme of the year would be.  It was a lot of pressure. 

The stockings are hung by the chimney with care.  Presents are counted and wrapped.  We search for the perfect gift to give to everyone on our list.  The menu is planned to the last detail.  We set out cookies and milk for Saint Nick.  What does any of it have to do with Christmas?  In a hundred different ways at any time during the course of a year we can show the people we love that we care simply by giving our time.

The spirit of Christmas has nothing to do stockings or trees or menus or cards.  You can write Happy Holidays, Seasons Greetings, or any other salutation you like but Christmas was then, is now, and will always be a celebration of the birth of Jesus our Savior.  What part of that isn't worth keeping in Christmas?  Our Father gave his Son to us to save us and people want to take Christmas and turn it into something else.  Without Jesus there is no reason to celebrate December 25th.  Without Jesus there isn't a a gift.  Jesus IS the gift.  What are you searching for in a store that you have not already been given?

As I think about that blank card, the card without pictures, I realize that I have already been given the best gifts of all.  Jesus gave me a family and a life.  Without those pictures my life is like the blank card...incomplete and empty.  Without Jesus I have no life. 

This Christmas as you set out your milk and cookies and unwrap your gifts, remember the best gift of all.  The gift of Jesus.  Luke 2:10-12 But the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid; for behold, I bring you good news of great joy which will be for all the people; for today in the city of David there has been born for you a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. "This will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger." 

This is good news indeed and worthy to be celebrated and honored.  It is a happy holiday.  It is Christmas, the celebration of the birth of Christ. 

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