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For Your Marriage

Josh and Stacey Noem have been married for almost 20 years and have three children in middle school and high school. They blog about parenting and their adventures as a family.

Merry Christmas!

To connect with dear friends and family across the country Joshua and I send Christmas cards each year. Our list tops out a little over one hundred cards…we have lived a lot of places and have been blessed with many people to love and treasure.

Each year we make our cards on the computer. We keep it simple, picking a family picture or two. We also add a theological quote or poem about Christmas or Advent. Then we print them out on plain cardstock, write a personal note and send them.

There were a couple exceptions to this tradition in years when our parish was doing new directories. We usually buy photo cards in those years.

Or the year Joshua wrote a mock Christmas letter. He felt like “playing with the conventions of the genre.” It included really kitschy holiday clip-art and he intentionally printed it crooked on the paper. Here’s a little excerpt from his lines about me:

“Stacey continues to enjoy crochet and croquet and has taken both hobbies to new heights when she developed the skill to do them simultaneously. I humor her when she shows me the “pieces” she’s created – they mostly look like a bird ate a few bottles of food coloring and then crapped on a pillowcase, but she feels good about them, so that’s what counts.”

HI-larious!! It probably goes without saying that I do neither of those activities nor any that resemble them. I still keep a copy of the letter and it makes me laugh so hard I cry.

This year is a new directory year at our parish and we will be sending out picture cards. What I personally miss in these years is the opportunity to share a little theology that touched us this year in the quote we would include in a card. With that in mind, I thought I might share some with you. Just a little food for thought during this time of reflection and waiting.

“He who made all natures became son of her whom he created” — Pope Leo the Great

“I do not worship matter. I worship the Creator of matter, who became matter for my sake; who willed to inhabit matter, and through matter accomplished my salvation.” — St.John of Damascus

“Rejoice, O Isaiah, and receive the Word of God!
Prophesy to Mary:
She is the burning bush un-consumed by the fire of divinity.
Adorn yourself, O Bethlehem.
Open your gates, O Eden.
Enter, O Magi, and see Salvation swaddled in a crib!”

–Vespers, Advent (Orthodox Church)