I was reading this last week out of The Christian Homemaker’s Handbook in an article titled, “Life Management Skills.” The author of this essay, Rhonda Harrington Kelley, lays out 4 Lifelong Decision-Making Principles. Several of these apply to my approach to Christmas cards this year. They are:
- There is a time for everything.
- Your core callings never go away.
- A choice for one thing is a choice against another.
- Make choices appropriate to your season.
This holiday season I am rethinking my methods in Christmas card giving. In past years due to the season of life, my goal was to spit out Christmas cards the fastest and most efficient way possible. If I hadn’t made a master list of recipients I probably wouldn’t remember whom I sent a greeting because personal touches were virtually non-existent. This year, I want cards sent from my family to truly be a greeting, an endearment, an encouragement. Honestly, it is going to mean I might send out less cards due to time restraints, but I think the tradeoff is valuable! Certainly choosing to write a few extra sentiments is going to be a choice against another. Have you ever noticed how the New Testament writers greet their audience? I am reminded of the introduction to Philippians, the effort of Paul to first thank God for their friendship and reassure them of his prayers for the Philippians. I think we sometimes get carried away in our Christmas cards with self-absorption and attach a Merry Christmas at the bottom. I love the practical tip Mary Mohler provided during her Holiday Traditions session. She suggested writing a core Christmas letter and editing for the particular recipient. Mrs. Mohler keeps a binder of the Christmas letters containing personal notes to her family. The next year, she rereads those letters and is able to ask them about a trip they referred to or other events alluded to in her personal Christmas greeting back. This process seems doable and appropriate to my season. So here are my tips for Christmas Card greetings this year:
- Make a recipient list and gather addresses into one manageable place or binder.
- Begin writing a generic letter or browsing the various sites to purchase and create cards. Include your children in the writing process!
- Set aside the time over the next few weeks to personalize.
- As you write, pray over the recipients.
- Organize a binder to store Christmas letters mailed to you and consider taping the return address label for mailing ease next year!
Remember, sending out our Christmas cards is a treasured way to share the gospel, the beautiful message of God’s son coming to us. I pray our recipients experience God’s redemption and grace as humanity celebrates His saving gift to His children.
 Pat Ennis and Dorothy Kelley Patterson, The Christian Homemaker’s Handbook, 271.
 The Art of Christian Homemaking Conference at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary.