Happily Even After
by Stacey Noem
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)
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