Thursday, December 22, 2011

An Appreciation for the Tangible

I'm not making any excuses, just stating the facts: I'm a little behind the game this Christmas. In a typical year all of my gifts are purchased (and often wrapped) before Thanksgiving. By the end of the first week of December, I've written a family Christmas letter, created some sort of card, and sent them on their merry way. Usually weeks in advance I've planned out our neighbor and teacher gifts and when possible (if they aren't of the perishable variety) assembled and delivered them too... Not so this year!

I'm so behind! And when I say that, I may mean in the very literal sense of the word (as in: a horse's behind!) or I could mean it in the sense that somewhere I've lost my motivation... or is it organization? Probably both. But, as I've scrambled the last several days to make up for lost time, I've come to the conclusion that I really appreciate the tangible things.

Like Christmas cards.

For the first time in years I considered nixing the annual Christmas card and accompanying letter from my to-do list. It would've been easy enough to attach some semblance of a Christmas wish via email, or better yet, just a broad posting on facebook. I could've probably done without the cutesy paper and the coordinating family-photo encrested card - heaven knows my schedule would've been completely supportive of the idea. But, as week by week and day by day, cards from our friends and family started showing up in our mail, I knew there was no way I would convince myself to break the tradition.

Maybe this labels me as a little bit more than "special", but each day in December finds me eagerly anticipating the arrival of the mail. I think it may even be one of my favorite parts of the Christmas season. A simple card means so much. It says, "Even though I'm really busy, I thought of you!" It also gives me a reason to pause and think about the sender... someone who's likely blessed my life! So, to all of you who've sent my family a Christmas Card, know that we look forward to them! We appreciate them. We cherish them.

So, I made it work. After much stress about it, I got our letter written and cards sent out. And, as of today (yes, I know Christmas is only 3 days away) my great to-do list is finally complete! I'm not going to pat my own back by saying I pulled it off in record time.... but, hey, I pulled it off in record time. (I know taking only a week to "accomplish" everything Christmas isn't a feet for most people, but this is "make a list & check it twice, then check it a third time for good measure, me" - so cut me some slack!)  Which means that tonight - for the first time in several weeks - I get to curl up with a book. Not with a Nook or a Kindle or even an iPad... a REAL-LIFE PAPER-BOUND book.  - For the record, I'm not knocking e-books, (afterall Hope's Journey is available in this format), but like I said before: I have an appreciation for the tangible things. 

Merry Christmas my friends! And, remember - enjoy the tangible things in your life, like friends, family, and all the other blessings that warm your heart and touch your lives. 

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