Card-less This Christmas

Written by Kerrie Oles  |  Found in: Main Articles

Everywhere I looked was an envelope that contained images of cute families.

One by one, ripping the envelopes open; the lump began to form in my throat. We have no Christmas cards. The bane of my existence at this moment. You see, days earlier my husband and I had a "marital discussion" over Christmas cards, because I wanted to get new portraits taken. I mean, I wanted the same treasure that everyone else clearly had. "We will just have no Christmas card this year, it’s okay to skip a year." Silence and stares, I tell you. My brain could not even process skipping a year! What does that even mean?

To curb this expense every year, while on vacation, we try to take the perfect shot so that when Christmas rolls around, we are prepared to add our cute family image to the world as well. This year, however, is quite different. We had no pictures taken while we were in the most beautiful place on earth, Hawaii, because my husband had a fight with a surfboard and the surfboard won, leaving him a black eye and a big gash in his forehead. Hence, why we have no pictures and now, no card. After our marital discussion and the "no" I received for new portraits, I had to run an errand. Ok. If you consider I needed Chik-fil-A an errand. I had every intention of telling God to change my husband’s mind because he was clearly wrong in this matter. I needed a Christmas card, I mean, what would people think?! You know the moment you're about to open your mouth and suddenly God speaks. Whoa. Yep, I had that moment. Before my rant was about to begin He softly nudged my spirit and said, "You know, you're not defined by a Christmas card."

Ouch.

I needed to shove Chick-fil-A waffle fries in my mouth, to keep me from absolutely crying at that moment. Of course, I know I'm not defined by a Christmas card. I thought instantly. But at that moment I realized I had not acted as though I wasn't defined by my Christmas card. Because all I was thinking, and my thoughts behind my feelings which produced my actions was what would people think if I didn't send out a Christmas card? I know. Just kill me now. It's true. I got all wrapped up in the, if I don't send a Christmas card-people might think something moment. Sigh…

Listen. The Holiday season is no different than any other season - in a moment we can get caught up in the hurry and the “we have to do this” or “we have to do that” thinking, and when we do, we need to ask ourselves what is the motive behind what we are doing?

Proverbs 16:2 says, “People may be pure in their own eyes, but the LORD examines their motives.”

He looks at our heart. I'm not a terrible person because I wanted a Christmas card and if you have graced my doorstep with your beautiful Christmas card; I have enjoyed every second of them! And honestly, it wasn’t about the pleasure of sending one, it is about, why I cared if I didn’t. See? This is really about how in a second you can switch from having thoughts that produce life and thoughts that produce death, (no life). And the truth is, I don't need to explain why I don't have a Christmas card, but we get caught up in that mentality and before you know it, you're standing in the kitchen having a “marital discussion” that probably didn't even need to be had. We laugh about it today, because I clearly made things right with my husband, which happens a lot living with me.

This year, we will not be sending Christmas cards, and I am okay with that. Repeat.

I am not defined by whether I do or I don’t. This holiday season, maybe you haven’t made a big faux pas like I did, but when you do, email me and we can be human together. Our only defining label is “child.” We are His, and this and every season is about Him! There are no “shoulds,” except to celebrate Him. And, if you’re human like me, at one point or another this season, take a deep breath and know He allows re-takes, and no one is perfect, no matter what the card looks like.

Merry Christmas to you and your families! May you be flooded with the love of Jesus and not chained to an idea of what people will or will not think!

 Blessings, 

Kerrie Oles