Fact: I love Christmas cards. The truth is that I actually love all types of cards. I love sending them [even though I don't do it nearly as often as I should], and I love receiving them. For years, one of my favorite parts of Christmas has always been picking out Christmas cards and then sending them to all of my favorite people. And then I started this little venture known as graduate school. As a result for the past three years, I have not sent out Christmas cards. Look, I know that I don't really have an excuse because somehow mothers who have small children and jobs and husbands to feed have no problems sending out their Christmas cards in a timely manner. It's just that by the time that end of the semester finally gets here in early December, my brain is kind of spongy and tired. However I am happy to report that next year I will not have the excuse of school standing in my way so I'll be back and better than ever on the Christmas card circuit. Just wait and see.
I'm not here to report on my shortcomings though. There will be plenty of time and bandwidth for that another day. Today I want to talk about how much fun it is to go to the mailbox each afternoon beginning shortly after Thanksgiving because inevitably there will be a Christmas card or two amidst the junk mail and carpet cleaning coupons. I love the pictures. I love the updates. I love them all. To me, it seems that the daily trip to the mailbox is the perfect prelude leading up to Christmas. There's a little bit of anticipation each time you go to the mailbox [the good kind of anticipation...not the kind that comes when you fear the IRS is about to audit you or something].
That's the fun of this season: the anticipation. ...Of the unknown. ...Of what is yet to come. ...Of something good and cheerful and bright on the inside of a beautifully wrapped package. ...Of something that has been picked out especially for us by someone who cares about us. As I was thinking about this whole matter of Christmas cards and Christmas day and the build-up and excitement that starts gradually and only intensifies the closer that we get to the 25th, I couldn't help but think of how Christmas morning is the perfect prelude to what is coming next for those of us who have the joy down in our hearts. This is the time in which we surround ourselves by the ones we love. We want to be close to home. Sure, we don't know what Heaven is going to be like, but we naturally long for it because we know it's our permanent home. It's unknown...it's yet to come...it's good and cheerful and bright...it was created and designed for us by someone who loves us more than we can ever imagine. It's like Christmas. Except it's every morning. And every night. The best part? We won't have to wait a whole 365 days for it to come around again.