One of my simple pleasures and joys, as the year closes and another begins, as we pause to reflect and remember, is to stand in my kitchen and just look at my refrigerator. Like you, I presume, we’ve all done our fair share of Christmas feasting and are quite full. So why am I staring at my fridge? I’m not looking to further feed my belly, but rather to warm my soul on these dark cold days, to consider and treasure the many beautiful faces that have graced the outside of my refrigerator: Christmas Cards!
My family loves receiving Christmas cards. The dollar tree ‘Seasons Greetings’ card with the scratchy red and silver glitter, the cliché winter scene of sleighs and snowmen, and a quick ‘happy holiday’ salutation are nice and sweet, but what brings me great joy and delight are the cards full of faces, faces of friends and family we know and love. Friends we see all the time and friends we haven’t seen in years. Some cards are hand delivered with a knock at the door and a plate of homemade yum-yums, others are passed out at church with a warm hug and a Merry Christmas, but most land in our mailbox thanks to our faithful postmen and postwomen. I marvel at how few pieces of mail get lost in the shuffle. Hats off to the postal service!
However the cards arrive, they all end up on our fridge, usually taped up with gold or festive washi tape, usually by my daughter. The placement and order of the cards will go through many iterations, as new cards of all shapes and sizes arrive, as some fall down, thanks to washi tape not being that sticky and Christmas cards often being heavier cardstock, and as sometimes our best friends end up on the bottom of the fridge and we feel like they deserve a more honored position higher up for more eyes to see and treasure.
Regardless the placement or location, I love to pause and gaze, to consider all these beautiful faces and thank God that we have a degree of friendship and connection with all these wonderful people, such that they felt compelled and moved to send a card our way. They didn’t have to, they chose to. For that simple thoughtfulness, I am grateful.
Perhaps some may complain that Christmas cards are rote or costly, just another to-do during an already hectic holiday hoopla, yet despite the gripes, I love Christmas cards. I love Christmas cards because I love the faces, the people, the lives that have blessed mine and hopefully lives I’ve blessed. I love the stories and memories, the hopes and dreams. I reflect and remember, adventures full of joys and sorrows that we’ve shared together. I marvel at God’s sustaining mercy, as some of these faces truly treasure Christ, while others are just Merry. And yet God upholds us all, patient, longsuffering, desiring all to be saved and come to know the wonder of Emmanuel, God with us!
As one year ends and a new year begins, I thank God for a fridge full of faces, for a life full of loved ones, near and fear, and the reminder that life is full because God has drawn near to us, and shares this life together with us.