The United States Postal Service this Christmas gives thanks for Christmas cards, as we all transmit our Christmas greetings through their service. Their volumes surely are up when compared to the rest of the year. Many of us are scurrying to do Christmas cards, or if you’re like me, you will observe the Twelve Days of Christmas and send them out later! We want to send cards to our family, friends, and acquaintances. Sometimes we send cards to strangers. Recently on Facebook a story went viral about Safyre Terry, a girl who survived a house fire and suffers from severe burns, and was requesting Christmas cards. People have also shared memes about sending cards to a wounded soldier. Suffice to say, Christmas cards are a way we connect with others to bring Christmas cheer.
We all get Christmas cards. But what do we do with them after we open them and read their message? Do we put them in a pile to discard at a later date? Do we write down the address so we can reciprocate and ensure we send a card next year?
This year, instead of discarding those cards, I’m going to keep them. I was inspired by a family who had me as a guest in their home a number of months ago. They collect all their Christmas cards, put them near their dining room table, and, when they sit down for a meal, select a card and say a prayer for that person, that they may know God’s blessings throughout the year. One time, they selected the card of a person in the morning who was having emergency surgery that very day.
What a noble practice! What a gift we can give to others, even if they do not know they are recipients of such a gift. During the Year of Mercy, this is one way we can show mercy towards others—after all, one the spiritual works of mercy is to pray for the living and the dead. This Christmas season, after receiving all those Christmas cards, send a piece of mail (i.e. a prayer) to Heaven each day for those who have shared the joy of Christmas with you this year.