A Christmas card is like a mini present. Inside there may be blessings, or good wishes, or photos, or shared memories, or even funny jokes. One time we received a card that someone forgot to sign, and we had ever so much fun trying to guess who sent the card with the red cardinal on the holly branch. Was it Uncle David? Aunt Ann? Our realtor? We never did find out for sure.
What I find beautiful is that, behind every card, someone out there was thinking of us at any given moment when they wrote our name on the envelope and signed the card.
It's wonderful, this exchanging of Christmas cards, and to ensure that my rough and tumble boys fully appreciate this tradition . . . to really show them how to take the time to go beyond the picture on the front of the card and value the well wishes and blessings that are being sent . . . we've started a new Advent tradition.
Now, when we sit around the dinner table, we take a few moments to pass around any Christmas cards that came in the mail that day. We read each card out loud. We comment on which ones are beautiful. We share stories about the people who sent them ("This is from Aunt Clare, the one who made that beautiful quilt when you were born"). Then, when we say grace, we offer up a special prayer for them.
This way, at some time at any given moment, our family is thinking/praying for someone out there.