It is almost December and I am always eager to see whose Christmas card will arrive first in the mail! It’s usually the same family every year ;-)….and they do not have young kids in their home anymore!!! We are lucky if we get cards out! Last year, we got the greatest pictures taken and never turned them into cards. And I still have a whole set of “make it yourself” Christmas cards from several years ago that we never sent out. My lackings do not mean that we don’t cherish EVERY card we get in the mail! In fact we have had a tradition with the cards we receive since the early years in our marriage; now that we have children it has become an expectation in the home that we welcome in December.
We have a card holder that is a centerpiece on our kitchen table every year at Christmas time. Every time we receive a card in the mail, we place it in a clip on the centerpiece and at every meal, we pick a card and pray for that family. Not just a quick “bless them” type of prayer….but one where we pause, wait, listen, and seek for the Holy Spirit to move on behalf of that family. I can still remember in past years an urgency over certain cards, or a direct word or verse that was laid upon our hearts to pray. There are times where I have sifted through the cards and felt like there was a certain family that needed intercession at that moment. It teaches us and our children to put the focus on others during the holidays….to sacrifice time to bless others through the power of prayer. It teaches us to be sensitive to the Holy Spirit and shows our children what if means to be quiet before the Lord and listen for his still small voice.
Our pastor & his wife are starting a version of this tradition in their home. They are getting a box for their kitchen table and putting a card for every family in our church in it so that they can pray at mealtimes for those they are serving. It would be easy to record prayer requests and such on these cards so that you can pray more specifically. This is such a wonderful way for church staff to stay disciplined in prayer. You could do this for family members or neighbors or your child’s classmates and so on. One suggestion I have for families with small children is to have pictures of those you are praying for. The visual is so so helpful for them as they learn to pray. I think we will use the pictures from the Christmas cards we receive and make this a dinnertime tradition for the year!
In anticipation of praying for that first Christmas card……
P.S. I found a cute blog with a hand painted canvas card holder http://thepeanutpaintshop.blogspot.com/ that you could buy or recreate if you are crafty!! It hangs on the wall. We do not have much “wall” in our kitchen so the tabletop option is perfect for us. Most places (target, kohls etc) have these available and I’m sure Etsy has some options for ones that hang on doors/ stairs/ mantle.