Early one December morning several years ago, I attempted to finish up my Christmas shopping. I woke up early, jumped in my clothes, grabbed my shoes and headed out the door, almost. As I walked to the door, I slipped and hurt my knee. I hit the floor and stayed there a while. All I could think of was my list of final Christmas stocking stuffers and last minute gifts. I was so close to being done.
Eventually, I was diagnosed with a torn medial meniscus that would require surgery. I was sidelined during the biggest shopping season of the year. Now, I don’t really love shopping but I love Christmas. So, the delegation began and as I made lists for my husband and girls, I was left alone with my thoughts.
Being alone with my thoughts birthed a reflection like none other. As I sat reading my devotions and staring at the Christmas tree day in and day out, I really had time to realize just how blessed I was. During this time, I focused on the blessings in my life. That is when I started writing my daughters Christmas Letters. These letters would become a summary of their year. My goal was to document milestones to include unique and special qualities.
Each letter consisted of the same topics but as they grew older the paragraphs varied accordingly.
Below is the general outline:
- Age, School, Teacher
- Dad, Mom and God
Age, School, Teacher
During the elementary and middle school years, I included the school year that ended and the year that had begun, any highlights from the summer and basic achievements like honor roll or perfect attendance. As they entered high school, I included their current GPA, really tough classes and any occasions to speak to the school deans.
The friend’s paragraph really changed as they progressed through school especially when the ‘mean girl’ drama came into the picture. For the most part, they each had that one solid friend who remained consistent in their lives, which was and is a blessing. There were many opportunities for life lessons in this paragraph.
Paige and Kelsey were both very athletic and they both played softball until they entered high school and then they both played volleyball and softball. They were different and yet the same. They were both driven, determined and very competitive.
Paige was a libero in volleyball. The libero is the player with a different color shirt who guards the court before she will let an opponent score. Perfect for my Paige. In softball, she was the best center fielder you could find. She only had 3 broken noses between the two sports in 4 years.
Now, Kelsey was the player who guarded the net (a blocker) in volleyball and waited for the opportunity to smash the ball back at the opponent. She wasn’t letting anything get by her. In softball, she was the pitcher who struck out the boys’ varsity baseball team and a catcher who would never let the opponent score. No broken noses for Kelsey. Thank God!
Paige and Kelsey had multiple accolades for their sports which were also included in this paragraph of their Christmas letter.
Dad, Mom and God
The last paragraph was a reminder of their beauty from the inside and out. It was also a reminder of God’s love for them and his plan for them.
“I know what I am doing. I have it all planned out – plans to take care of you, not abandon you, plans to give you the future you hope for.” Jeremiah 29:11 (MSG)
In this section I wrote about the boys, tears, crushes, joys, heartbreaks and the fact that their daddy would always be the first man who loved them unconditionally.
I reminded them that as they grew up God already had the perfect plan for them. Some Christmas celebrations were not so merry when there was heartbreak but they knew that their daddy…. and mommy were always there for them.
When I read those letters now, I can see the most amazing reflection of God’s hand on our lives.
Yes, I have the letters in a special place and I have the memories in my heart.I invite you to share your favorite Christmas traditions in the comments.
Merry Christmas and Be Blessed!