I can't bear to throw away Christmas cards. We have a basket in our family room full of cards and letters received over the last couple years. Sparkly greetings with trees, stockings, holly, beaches, bald eagles, candy canes and holy scenes, and always, people sharing family news, sharing dreams, sharing their lives. We don't often see some of these loved ones, so their greeting card gab is all the more precious.
This December, our mail box held photos of a family on the North Shore of Oahu; four siblings sitting on a rock, Center Court at Wimbledon; children swimming, surfing and fishing; four horses and three dogs (all on one card); 12 family members attending the Lion King musical in Reno.
There was a photo of Steve with his arm around his dad, who has suffered for several years with non-Hodgkins lymphoma. Dad has been off chemo since summer. There was a photo of one-year-old Kate in front of presents and warming fireplace. Her parents are so grateful for their only child, who was born with disabilities and only one functioning kidney. There was a photo of my niece Emily and her new husband at their elopement wedding in the Bahamas. They look young and exuberant in wedding dress and tux, standing oceanfront just after taking their vows.
My sister sent us two cards, so her recordkeepng hasn't improved. We received cards and letters by email, which is just as touching and personal to us. One clever and always trendy family sent a letter composed mainly of symbols.....for sports played, places visited, musical instruments played, remodeling projects completed.
Today, I will retire our Christmas 2004 cards and letters to the family room basket. And in 2005, I will savor the smiling photos, the sentimental and newsy words, the pieces of peoples' lives.
God is good.