Every year I write a Christmas letter. It’s becoming a tradition. A tradition I enjoy. It’s fun to write and reflect on the past year of our life and on the celebration of Jesus’ birth. It’s something I’d like to continue to do, so when our kids are 30 and have families of their own I can look back and see our life and thoughts in Christmas letters. Maybe one day I’ll even make a scrapbook of them.
But this year, my task is being threatened. I don’t know what to write. (So I figured I’d write about not knowing what to write…makes sense, right?)
A few days ago, I excitedly opened a little brown box containing 50 glossy 5×7 Christmas cards. I was quite proud of my little card. There are twelve photos on it; one for each month. It’s our year in pictures and it’s pretty neat.
That night, with Christmas carols playing in the background, I sat on the floor to stuff, stamp, and address my little Christmas card.
As I was stamping my Christmas cards and wondering about the proper etiquette of placing stamps, I got nostalgic. Not for a time I ever knew, but for a time when people knew the proper placement of a stamp on an envelope. For a time when Christmas cards were special and nearly all correspondence was written in ink. Before inboxes and even mailboxes. A time when hand delivered messages were second only to a “call” from your neighbor.
When photos were called photographs and they were treasured and few. A time when communication was delayed, difficult, and cherished.
So unlike the days we live in. Now, I can upload 50 photos of our recent adventures to Facebook, while chatting with my sister online. Correspondence is cheap and photos are in abundance.
It isn’t any wonder then that I am having a hard time writing a Christmas letter. A second glance at my cute little Christmas card and I realize that everyone has already seen all these photos…on Facebook. And if they’ve seen our photos then they know what’s happening in our lives. So why, then, am I sending out a Christmas card?
For this very reason I assume that in the not so distant future, despite all the clever marketing campaigns and promotions, Christmas cards will become obsolete. Instead, people will insert their Christmas greeting into their Facebook status. The thought only serves to strengthen my resolve to write a letter and keep the tradition alive. I don’t want a Facebook Christmas!
But Christmas, I now remember, isn’t about tradition. It isn’t about us or our pictures or our updates or my refelctions. It isn’t about letters or stamps or Christmas cards. And it doesn’t really matter when, where, or how it is celebrated or remembered. Whether in chat rooms or in parlors, Christmas is about Christ.
With that in mind, I will attempt to write a letter. Maybe it will be a short one this year.
9 thoughts on “CHRISTmas letters…”
I liked this a lot, Brooke. So, what is proper stamp etiquette?? Love you.
hmmmm…just tried googling it and there wasn’t much. Maybe I was wrong, but I’m pretty sure somewhere I heard or read about their being a specific measurement from the corner on where to place the stamp, making the envelope look best, or balanced. I’ll let you know if I find you…and you let me know if you find out!
Very good Brooke. Dad says “pithy”. I’ve wondered about the fate of Christmas cards myself. Love you
I was touched by what you wrote, a kindred spirit perhaps! I especially like what you wrote about a time when correspondence was something treasured and cherished, something rare and meaningful. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and for encouraging me today as I prepare to write my annual Christmas letter. I pray it will be cherished by those who receive it and that Christ will be honored through it. Merry Christmas!
Thanks Laura! And Merry Christmas to you too! Good luck in your letter writing and may we remember this season what all the fuss is about! Christ!
Hey Brooke-I definately think you have a valid point under the general theme of looking back and valuing what is important. That is one reason I choose to not go ahead with many current tech, “advances.” It seems like somewhere we, as Christians, should draw the line and resist the pulls of the world as God reveals them to us, and then to act by not participating in them, even if they do make our lives easier. (Is the easy way always the best?) Saying that, I ask that you send me one of your cards, as I am not on Facebook and I would love to see and hear about your life this past year. Also, to attempt to go back to the old paths, I am encouraged by this post to take it a step further and write ,by hand, a letter to many of my family and friends. The handwriting of each one God created is also something to be cherished. It’s one of our unique imprints, which is only possessed by us alone. Really neat when you think about it.
You are already on my list Patti! Now if I can just take a minute to write my letter! Otherwise they are all stamped and ready to go!
I loved this 🙂 Your Christmas card experience explains in part why I deactivated my FB account last week for Advent season. Rather than a Christmas letter, I love sending out Christmas cards with personal notes on back, written in a black Sharpe. I like to tell each person how they’ve blessed me (or us, depending on the person). It’s my Christmas gift to them.
Someday, when we have children, I look forward to writing Christmas letters with all the updates. FB will never supersede the feeling of receiving a card and letter in the mail.
What a great season!
That’s not a bad idea about Facebook. I’ve been thinking about taking a break from it. It can serve it’s purpose but sometimes it’s overdone! I love Christmas cards/letters too and will continue to send them out—even when I’m 80 and people are “tweeting” their Christmas greetings or something like that 😉 Thanks for stopping by!