“It’s from Auntie Debbie,” she said before I had a chance to open it.
Perhaps my daughter wanted to warn me—to give me a heads up—the handwritten words inside might bring me down. I read the note, noting the blessing wished over our family for 2018.
It was the last Christmas card my dear friend would ever send me; I didn't know it at the time I received it.
Deb, a friend I’d known since the sixties, was not going to celebrate the season with the rest of us here on earth. She would worship and rejoice with Jesus in Heaven. And while her husband, children, and grandchildren opened Christmas gifts together, she would gather together with loved ones who had entered the Pearly Gates ahead of her.
My sweet friend was one of those rare people who remembered every single birthday of her friends and her friends’ children. Not a year passed by before she passed away that she didn’t send a card for each one of our special days.
I tucked the last Christmas card into the edge of my antique dresser mirror as a morning reminder for December to remember what matters most about the season. Love. Love lasts long after gifts and cards have faded from our memory. Love lifts spirits and heals wounded hearts.
My friendship with Deb had been more deliciously satisfying than a plateful of freshly baked gingerbread cookies. She always greeted me with a smile as warm and as wide as the arms she flung around me. We always laughed a lot and hid little from each other. She praised my honesty and openness by rewarding me with her own from-the-heart confessions, hopes, and prayers.
I would miss her. I already do. But tears are less now as I focus on being thankful for her friendship here and for our forever friendship in Heaven. Emmanuel has gifted us with this hope. He is with me now and has promised to bring all believers together to be with Him in Paradise.
Although Debbie was generous about sending out cards and gifts for Christmas. She practised what it’s really about: Spending time with each other rather than just spending money on each other. Deb’s last Christmas card focused on the gift of time spent together. And it reminded us to:
“O come, let us adore Him.”
We may think we don’t have a lot to give God. But what He treasures most from us is time spent loving and enjoying Him and time spent loving and enjoying our family, friends, and neighbours as ourselves. Like Mary, the mother of Jesus, may we ponder the Good News of the Christmas Child. May we ponder God’s love for us.
That’s the best Christmas card we could ever send to Jesus.
I'm nosey-to-know if you have a keepsake Christmas card you love to display during December.
Merry Christmas ~ Wendy Mac