I still remember the first time I was asked, “Where is your Christmas card?”
(Here is last year’s Christmas card, in case you didn’t get it.)
A thrill and then a sense of panic washed over me. “A Christmas card? Are those mandatory?”
I was all a dither, trying to find a Christmas card to go with every present that we gave. I still remember them. They were cute and store bought and had a precious snow scene on the front of the card with a thoughtful message printed inside. I think I wrote a little note of love and then signed our names.
That was our FIRST Christmas card.
But that was NOT what people meant. They meant a Christmas LETTER. You know, the “year in a nutshell”, beautifully written, and published onto a FULL SHEET of paper. YIKES! I had actually not grown up doing this myself, so starting this process wasn’t easy for me. Although I would have avoided adding this new tradition to my busy Christmas life, I am grateful I did it. It has blessed my life to be able to look back and read what life was like for us, in a nutshell, and reminisce – at least just a little bit.
Especially now that we live far away from family and close friends!
I decided that our Christmas celebrating needed a bit of a booster shot. I was inspired to put together a little “Christmas Book” and fill it with our treasured Christmas memories from Christmases past. This is what we came up with. . .
Cute, huh?!? Okay, it isn’t super fancy BUT it is filled with AWESOME sheet protectors already attached to the hard, plastic, thin folder.
Here is our first Christmas letter. It was written in 2001 (after 5 1/2 years of marriage and 2 kiddos). It has a HUGE blank space at the bottom. I assume we printed pictures on special photo paper and put them there. Yes, “back then” we didn’t have color printers that could print color photos on regular paper.
I printed as many Christmas letters as I could find and then I consolidated all the Christmas cards that we also made over the years onto 2 pages. It was fun looking back over the years, enjoying how our family grew and changed over time.
I even included Christmas cards we have been sent, that we had stored in random places around our home, as well as past adventures we had as a family at Christmas time (Santa Experiences and #LighttheWorld 2016 with the LDS Church online).
But the initial reason we even decided to make this book was because of this little tradition we began 5 years ago. They are bookmarks.
Each year we each think of a way that each person in our family has helped us that year or maybe we think of something that is special about that person. Then we make this list into a bookmark, print it, laminate it and use it for the year in our scriptures. But over the years, the bookmarks get worn out or lost or they go unnoticed. So this year, I talked to the kids and we decided that we still like the tradition but we don’t need to make them into bookmarks.
So this little book was created to store these precious, little memories of Christmases past and placed on top of our Christmas living room table, to be enjoyed each year by one and all in our family.
I think this little book will be a special treat for each of us to look forward to each year. Now to work on this year’s Christmas letter/card.