They’re starting to arrive slowly but surely: crisp envelopes with holiday stamps and festive return labels that open to reveal photos with smiling faces on family vacations, at weddings or in front of new homes, allowing the recipient to see into a moment of the family’s past year.
Hallmark estimates that 1.5 billion Christmas cards are sent in the U.S. alone each year, making the Christmas card a staple of American life.
As the designated Christmas letter writer of my family, I struggle each year to fully capture all that has happened since we turned the calendar one year ago. A new year holds such opportunity, so what have I accomplished during that time? What have I experienced? What should people know about me?
I suppose there was that random trip to Wyoming, that new job and that new car purchase, but does that fully capture the strides I have made as an independent woman or the deepening of my faith life?
I attempt to fit my updates in with my parents’ as well, and every year my words spill over to the next page. One 8 ½ by 11-inch sheet of paper cannot possibly hold the details to every family gathering we hosted, every trip we took or every meaningful event that occurred in 2010.
So this year we’re nearly scrapping the annual Christmas letter altogether. Each family member will be allotted a line or two for updates, but that is all. The remainder of the Christmas letter will not boast of any accomplishments, detail any family reunions or deliver a play-by-play of each month of 2010.
The letter will end something like this:
“The year 2010 has been a year of fulfillment for the Zimanskes – not fulfillment of our own wishes, but of God’s plan for each of us. We’ve taken risks, made career changes, moved addresses and more, but all along, we trusted in the One who had it planned all along. He has fulfilled His purpose for each of us in 2010, and we look forward to a new year with new opportunities to follow His guiding ways and serve Him.”
May this holiday season and the upcoming year grant you endless opportunities to fulfill the perfect plan God has in store for you.