By Heather O.
All of my Christmas is basically down–the tree is stripped, ready to be put back in the box (yes, we did fake this year, and I’m actually a big fan, but I realize that debate is a post in and of itself, so let’s just let it go, shall we?) The boxes for the ornaments, etc, are in my living room, waiting to be filled, and everything is taken down from my walls, tables, etc.
Everything but the Christmas cards. They are still happily displayed all over my piano.
I love Christmas cards. I love sending them, and I love getting them. I love picking out which font of “Season’s Greetings” I get to put on the cheap cards from Target I send out. I love picking out which picture gets put on the cards, and I even like picking out the stationary I will write my letter on, and the envelope it will go in. No white envelope for me, oh no, I like the Christmasy ones, complete with Santa Claus stamp that makes everybody go “Hooray–it’s a Christmas card!” And my Christmas letter is usually written right after Halloween. I love it.
I know a woman who hates it.
This woman is not a Scrooge. Far from it. She does Christmas extremely well, and is usually done with all of the busy stuff well ahead of schedule so that she can spend the holiday doing what is most important–focusing on family and the Savior.
But when I say she doesn’t like it, I am talking about the whole Christmas letter thing. She says it goes back to when she was having a particularly difficult time in her life. Ok, “particularly difficult” doesn’t really begin to describe some of the things she has been through, but in the interest of TMI, we’ll leave it there. She said it used to drive her crazy to get letters about how great everybody else’s life was when she felt like she had nothing positive to say about hers. Her life has picked up since then, but she still hasn’t worked up the courage, faith, stength, energy, whatever, to write her own letter, thinking about how painful some of those early letters were to her.
So, my question is, how much of our lives should we share with others, either through Christmas letters, blogging, talks at church, whatever? Is it wrong to want to show off what our kids can do, their accomplishments, the happiness in our own lives even when we know that others are suffering? Or is there a way that we can share our own happiness when things go well in our lives and still be sensitive to other people’s pain?
I hope that it is the latter, because I already have next year’s Christmas letter half written. I even picked out the stationary, 90% off at Target 3 days after Christmas. Gotta love it.
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