It is 7 days away from Christmas and I just recently finished the annual process, some would say chore,)of writing and mailing the Christmas cards to friends and family, near and far. I have to admit, that there have been years where I just could not bring myself to do this tedious task. It makes the holiday so much more “busy” and it feels like such a thankless undertaking. There have been times when I’have absolutely refused to support the economy by giving money to Hallmark for the cards, and the PO for the mailing of them.
But not this year! This year, I purposed in my heart, to give God the glory through all of my event planning and undertakings regarding Christmas. It started in September, when we began the annual Christmas play in Kidz Church and one of the songs struck my heart right in the middle. The song was about how a child showed up at the mall and saw all the people in line to see Santa, but wondered where the line was to see Jesus, since He is the real reason for the holiday!
That made me think about all I do centered around my own Christmas, including the decorating of the house, the purchasing, wrapping, and mailing of gifts, and the writing and distributing of the Christmas cards.
This year, I made a special Nativity village in my home and made sure to highlight the baby Jesus in the middle of it all. In previous years, the manger was placed on the floor in front of the giant tree, or completely omitted because we switched to a small tree due to the logistics of the house, and the fact that we have a ginormous doggie that already takes up a LOT of space in our home. This year, I decided that there was no way we would omit the reason for the season, thus my nativity village was place on an elevated coffee table and it is not overshadowed by trees or presents of any sort.
Also, as I set about decorating my home, I sang Christmas songs! I truly was joyous throughout the whole task of set-up and clean-up and by the time I was done, and all the lights were lit, it felt absolutely festive and warm in my house. I also felt so connected to Jesus.
Lastly, I took a special approach when writing each Christmas card. For mostly all of them, all I wrote inside was “All my love, Shawn, Lucie, Ashleigh, and Elliott.” I had picked out cards that had sentiments that I loved, so did not feel like I had to elaborate. And I’am not one to write an annual Christmas End-of-the-Year Letter! So sending all of my love was enough, I thought!
The funny thing is that half way through writing my 140 cards, I thought about the first 70 people who each received “all of my love,” and I actually wondered if there was any love left for the last 70! I had not thought about it for the first 70! In fact, as I wrote each card, I found myself praying a special blessing on behalf of each family member and thanking the Lord for bringing these people into my life. I did that over and over again and truly poured love into each card! At the 71st card, when my hand was cramping, and I took a break, that’is when the thought hit me that maybe I should have been writing “a portion of all my love to you and yours” instead of the classic, if not cliche, “all of my love.”
But as I thought about it, I had a very small glimpse of the great love of God for each and everyone of us and how His love is abundant and endless and how He gives me ALL His love, but at the same time gives that same of amount of ALLness to everyone else!!! How awesome is that. So I just had to smile as I finished the last 70 of my cards. I continued to pray over each family member and thank God for every single one, and marveled that as quickly as I poured out “all my love,” God replaced it immediately so I could pour it all out again and again!
How blessed are we that we have the awesome example of God’s love to show us how to love others, especially at this time of year. All my love goes out to each and everyone who reads these words. I thank God for you and I pray His richest blessings on your life and the lives of those you love! Merry Christmas and a Blessed and Joyous New Year!