I love receiving Christmas letters each year — I read them — some, many times. I read them to the family and take the enclosed photos and hang them on our kitchen cabinet doors. I love the letters for so many reasons — maybe for as many different reasons as the number of letters received each year.
I often wonder how many drafts some writers attempted before the resulting letter was complete. I say this because I attempted to write our Christmas letter no less than a dozen times this year. Each draft wordier (no surprise there!) than the previous — then I’d write a rather perfunctory letter — and it sounded like it. Then I wrote intending to add photo highlights. But then I thought of all the things I wouldn’t have space to include. After each sort of attempt — some, far along in the process: I think, no… no, that’s not it. Click: Ctrl A. Click: Delete. Computer lid: click. Lights out: click.
Maybe tomorrow, I’d ponder as I drifted off to sleep… maybe tomorrow… maybe tomorrow I will write in such a manner as to concisely convey, in less than a thousand words, the story of a year in the life of a family. All I could see was the hand of the Lord over two extremely thankful parents in rocking chairs: observing the marvelous lives of nine
very busy adult children living at home and more beyond.
And so, more treasured letters and cards have arrived… more beautiful photos are on the cabinet doors… more tears of joy have been shed for the changes and blessings and losses and accomplishments the Lord has given family and friends. Melancholy tears of joy… and the passage of time.
The Christmas letter is finished. It’s even been printed. And it’s incomplete to convey all the things I wish I could’ve written, because there’s so much more the Lord has done and taught us this past year than time or space allowed. But… I’m glad we have something to send and a photo to put with it. I’m really grateful it mattered enough to enough of our family here to push to do what I know I’ll be glad we did.