Friday, December 16, 2011

Christmas Cards and Memories

Don't you just love receiving Christmas cards?  I do.  I've enjoyed going to our mailbox each day and seeing who we've received cards from.  It's always fun to get a card from an old friend; especially those we haven't heard from in a long time but who are faithful to send a card every year.  To be honest, I'm not crazy about those generic Christmas newsletters, but I realize that when you have a lot of people to write to during the holidays, this is probably the best way to go.  :-)  (And no offense intended toward those who do like to write/receive newsletters). 

Today there was a card from Ruth in our mailbox.  Ruthie and I grew up together in church.  She was several years older than me, but she always included me in her group of teenage friends and I never forgot it; she still lives in my hometown of Joplin, MO.  I was able to see her this past July while I was home for a visit .  Isn't it amazing how old friends can pick up where they left off as though so many years hadn't passed?  Ruthie's that kind of friend.

There was a card from Brenda today, too.  She's another childhood friend, also from the same church group.  We're the same age and though we didn't hang out together all the time, we were friends and there's still that special bond between us.  Brenda's health hasn't been good the past few years due to a terrible car accident she was in and it's only by the grace of God that she's still with us.  She added a P.S. to the note in her card, saying she and her husband Ben are now great-grandparents!

Cards from family members bless me.  I love the cute little kids pics that I get now from my nieces.  I can hardly believe they're all grown up with children of their own.  I received a card from my Aunt Jean today.  She's the only surviving aunt I have now and she's very special to me.  We keep in touch by phone, but it's so good to get a handwritten note and Christmas card from her in the mail. 

My mother-in-law sent us a card she made that included a photo of my husband, his sister and their parents taken years ago.  They all look so happy.  It's a moment frozen in time; a picture to look at that brings back so many good memories.  My father-in-law passed away in 2007 and it's been hard for my mom-in-law after having been married for over 50 years.  She is looking forward to seeing us at Christmas.  And we love spending time with her and other family members.

This is the first Christmas without my sister Ellen.  There won't be a Christmas card from her in my mailbox this year.  I am sad but there is an inner peace and comfort in knowing she is with Jesus in a better place.  When I see her again she'll be laughing and full of joy; we'll both be radiant in the presence of our risen Savior.  I look forward to that day. 

So I wonder who I'll hear from tomorrow?  I'll be waiting to find out!  God bless you, friends and Merry Christmas to you and your loved ones. 

A fun Christmas card I just made: