I have a love/hate relationship with Christmas Cards. I love--I mean really love--nice stationery. As nerdy as it sounds, nice paper is my favorite splurge item. I am a big fan of technology and do 95% of my correspondence via e-mail. Yet, I have a deep love for the handwritten word.
I purchased my Christmas cards at the end of the Summer. I had them printed a month ago. A few weeks ago I excitedly went to select my special brown Sharpies and Madonna and child stamps in preparation. I was looking forward to sending cards again this year. Yet, the actual work of addressing all these cards, realizing just how many addresses are incomplete in my files, attaching stamps and photos and the resulting aching back have made me wonder several times today why I do this every year.
Today I spent two hours tracking down addresses. As I waded back through old e-mails announcing address changes (some, literally, from 2003) I enjoyed a wonderful trip down memory lane that prompted e-mails and calls to folks I haven't had contact with in months. As I reconnected with each person--or simply thought about them specifically as I addressed their envelopes-- I was brought back to the point of this particular tradition.
It is not about "the picture" (or the paper, ahem), It is about the people who have touched our lives and connecting with them, showing a small measure of love and spreading cheer. Relationship, love, hope, reaching out...the very reasons our Savior came in the first place.
I encourage you to reframe your holiday stressors. As you get flustered and rushed by various holiday activities, ask yourself: What is the point anyway? I hope it helps make your season more enjoyable. It is definitely having a positive effect on mine.