With every Christmas card I write


"I'm dreaming of a white Christmas, with every Christmas card I write."

Christmas cards.  They are all different but some are the same.  The spectrum of engagement: Photo cards from friends we used to be very close to with no personal note and not even a signature, to the one where our family friend wrote a personal message that filled all the space available.  

Thanksgiving to Christmas is always a "too busy" time for me and I end up only signing most of my cards.

Then there's the tit for tat of taking someone off my list who does not send me one, and sometimes they send one after a couple of years absence and I put them back on my list only to have them not reciprocate the next year.  

Several of my friends who I exchange cards with have been absent this year.  I hope they are just late.  But who knows.  I don't know.  Don't assume and think the best of people.  At least keep it neutral.

Some people never send cards.  Postage is expensive if you don't have a lot of money or you have many friends.  

Note to self:  It doesn't mean anything if someone does not send you a card.  I have no idea what is going with someone else and in their life.  Freedom of choice.

A Christmas card is a small gift that we give each other each year.  It is a choice to give them.  My thought is that there is always a blessing attached with giving: "Give and it shall be given", Jesus said.  The person who does not give, maybe they are not generous in a variety of ways, is not a "bad" person (no shame on you).  But rather they are missing out on the blessing of giving.  We don't give just give to get, but giving always begets getting.

To have friends you must be friendly.  That does not mean that everyone you are friendly with will reciprocate or that they will become a close friend.

Rather than mourning about friends that are no longer friends, we should be friendly and be open to making new friends.  We need to set people free to be or not to be our friend and be okay with their decision.

It is wrong to think a person is either my friend or something negative.  If they used to be a friend but are not now, it is probably not my fault.  And if it is is my fault, partly or wholly, I want to own that, and be reconcilable.  But reconciliation takes two sides.  I need to let them go, but be open to them coming back into my life.

Another way to look at Christmas cards is that what if your friend that you know is your friend because they demonstrate it every week does not send you or hand you a card?  Do you judge the friendship on that?  I hope not.

On Christmas morning, I got a greeting from a cousin who as far as I can remember, has never sent a card or greeting before and it was wonderful.  None of my other cousins reached out nor did I reach out to them, and that is fine.  Because a gift is a gift and when you don't give a gift it does not make you bad.  No shame.  Only blessing for the giver: "For it is more blessed to give than to receive".