Advent 2022: Thursday, December 8

December 11, 2022

One of my favorite Christmas traditions is sending and receiving Christmas cards. Friends near and far, carefully choose and send cardstock treasures with well wishes for a Merry Christmas.

I hold these cards so dearly during the Christmas season, hanging them proudly and considering how children have grown or lives have changed. However, at the end of the holiday season I'm faced with a decision on what to do with those memories. For some of you, the choice may be easy, you take the card and dispose of it in the trash can. Bravo! Good for you! Unfortunately, I am not that person... I hem and haw over what to do with that precious family photo and consider the time and money it took to send me the card. For years, instead of throwing them in the garbage, I would bundle them with a rubber band and stick them in a bin to be shoved in my crawl space. Sadly, the cards never saw the light of day again, but I felt like I have served that family well.

One of my friends solved this dilemma in a meaningful way. After Christmas she takes all the cards her family received during the holiday season, gives them a single hole punch, and puts them on a binder ring. She and her family then take one card per week over the course of the next year and pray for that family. She even reaches out to let you know she is intentionally praying. What a beautiful and honoring way to utilize those Christmas cards! This Christmas I want to encourage you to honor friends and family by praying for them outside of the holiday season (whether you have their Christmas card or not). Give them the gift of prayer year-round and perhaps save those precious Christmas memories while you're at it ;)

Julie Andrews, children’s ministry