I love getting cards in the mail. Something other than a bill is nice to see for everyone! I open the card to see who sent it, and when I read the name, I smile. A memory has surfaced of the last time I saw them or a time that we had spent together. And so at Christmas I do a lot of thinking of people that I love. The one time of year when snail mail is used the most to send well wishes, good thoughts, and warm memories to people we care about.
I know I’m probably one of the last people to do it, but I still send out Christmas cards. I love it. I don’t even have rules about it, like if you haven’t sent me a Christmas card, then I won’t send you one. I don’t care if you send me a card or not. I just enjoy taking my kids’ picture in their Christmas clothes, writing a message in the card, addressing the envelope, placing the stamp in the corner, and sending the girls out to the mailbox to send out around 50 Christmas cards each year. I send cards to old friends, family, and new friends that are some of my best friends.
And every year, I ask hubby, “I wonder how many people just read the card and throw it in the trash? Do you think they throw the picture away too?” And in his logical way he says, “Probably. If it’s too much of a hassle then don’t send them out. It would definitely save a little money around the holidays.”
But I’m asking him because I’m not sure what I should do with the Christmas cards we get. I know how much time and money (stamps aren’t cheap when you’re buying 50 of them!) it takes to send cards, so I feel like I need to honor the people that send our family a little piece of Christmas cheer through the mail. But eventually the Christmas season ends, the decorations are taken down and packed away until next year. And those Christmas cards wind up in the trash.
Not too long ago a woman shared with me what her family does with Christmas cards and it was a perfect answer to my dilemma. They put all of the cards in a basket and store them near their dining room table. Every week or so, they pull a card out of the basket and pray for that family, every day, for that week. I love this.
I’ve already got my bucket with cards put together. The kids and I are going to do this as part of our morning routine before we start school. I will pull out a card. Tell the kids who sent it (lots of the time we get cards from people the girls have never met or were too small to remember). Then we will pray for them.
We got 12 cards this year, so unless some late ones show up, each family that sent us a card will get our prayers for a month. It doesn’t mean that I won’t pray for you if you didn’t send us a card, but I hope this will be a good way to teach the kids how to intercede for people through prayer. I’m not sure what might happen for that family during our month of focused prayer, but I’m hoping that God will use our prayer time to bless our friends and family.
I think it’s a perfect way to keep the Christmas spirit flowing through your home all year long. And I can’t wait to see how these families will be blessed when we are praying for them!
Update: We did our Christmas card praying for the past year, and I tried the best I could to contact the families that were our “family” of the month to ask for specific prayer requests. The result of our year of prayer was AMAZING! We had one family that had an unexpected windfall of cash the month that we prayed for them. Another family was having job concerns and they got a definite answer the month we prayed for them that their job was secure. Our most recent prayer update was about a lovely Christian woman who has finally met her future husband after asking us to pray for him to come into her life. My daughters have loved hearing about all of the amazing things that have happened to the people we’ve prayed for. My oldest daughter, Grace, said, “We need somebody to pray for us, Mom!”
So that is your challenge: use those Christmas cards that come in the mail, use your church directory, use whatever list of friends and family you would like, but spend a year devoted in prayer for those people. We’ve already received quite a bit more Christmas cards in the mail this year than we did last year, including some from people that have never sent us a card. I don’t know if word has spread about the power of Grace and Sophie’s prayers, but I do know that the blessing has been all ours. It is a mighty God that we serve and He’s listening to our requests!
“The prayer of a righteous man has great power” is a promise, use it,