Dec 05 2011

The Imperfect Christmas Card

It’s the only time of the year that your mailbox is full of something other than junk mail and bills, but hand addressed letters from family and friends.

Maybe you have this experience too this time of year…You go to your mailbox and get all the Christmas cards, open them up, and enjoy the smiling faces of families on those photo cards…and you read their perfect letter of all their perfect activities, and your heart sinks a bit when you think of your imperfect life.

Maybe someone is missing from your family photo this year.  Went online last night on one of those photo card sites to make our card, and got stuck when on the form to fill out, where it said “Family Name”.  As a single parent now, didn’t know what family name to put in that blank…so I put all our first names…and they didn’t fit…so I just chose another design. 

Maybe you’re experiencing something like that too this year and sending out a Christmas Card with someone missing seems like a statement on how things aren’t perfect.  Who cares!

Heard this at church yesterday, “Don’t complain about what’s not happening right in your life, but rejoice for what is happening that’s right.”

Sure you could find something.  Plus all those other perfect Christmas cards and letters you’re getting…their not really perfect either.

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12/5/2011 8:16:51 AM
Erin United States
Erin
Loved your post today.  I too am a single parent and struggled when I put together my Christmas card this year.  I loved your quote you heard at church“Don’t complain about what’s not happening right in your life, but rejoice for what is happening that’s right.”
That quote is what I am really going to try to focus hard on through my first Christmas as a single parent.  
12/5/2011 8:22:11 AM
Sidney Clark United States
Sidney Clark
I find myself in a similar scenario.  Not with name, but rather the idea of doing a family photo with one less member.  It's make you think twice about doing a family photo card.

Just like your thanksgiving, this will be my first Christmas without the kids jumping on my bed telling me it is time to wake up and come downstairs at 6 or 7 in the morning. I am just thankful that I will get to end my day with them at home.

I thank you for your inspiring words each day. They provide a positive punch to my work day. I thank you for utlizing the gifts that God has blessed you with to help inspire the rest of us that can relate.
12/5/2011 8:22:48 AM
Soila United States
Soila
I was just listening about your Christmas card preparation story.  I heard your words and what came to my heart was we should all care, but we should not care what others think. What a great opportunity to be reminded to say a little extra prayer for a person or family when we receive a card or gift from someone who has to face a holiday in the same situation. Those prayers will be heard and hopefully that person will feel the Grace of God.  For that reason Jesus was born, for all of these hard times. We are so lucky.  God Bless you and Merry Christmas.
12/5/2011 8:24:26 AM
Connie United States
Connie
You've got that right girl...things are not always as perfect as they seem...   Know that you are not alone in how you feel...  I became a single mom 8 years ago and I felt so awkward the first 2 years I didn't even send out Christmas cards....But I'm hear to tell it gets better...  My kids and I just took our holiday picture at my niece's wedding Sat. for our Christmas cards and I can't wait to send it out...  There's still just the 3 of us but that's ok...  I use how God has changed my life, giving me courage and strength to get through it all and I include that in my Christmas letter hoping it may change some else's life...  Being a single mom is not easy but you hang in there.  I promise God is always with you and will not fail you.  Merry Christmas Amanda.  May you feel God's presence, love, and strength as He lifts you up this Christmas season.
12/5/2011 8:27:51 AM
Fran United States
Fran
Amanda, I have heard your heart cry for a few weeks now about Christmas preparation, i.e,. tree, cards, etc.  I have been divorced for 33 years now.  My kids were 2 and 3 when their dad left (after much education, perfect job, finally having two babies that lived, etc).  Your tree story resonated with me.  Buying a fresh tree, cutting it correctly for the stand, getting lights evenly distributed on it, being tall enough to string them and finally decorating it was OVERWHELMING.  Doing that while trying to finish college, take tests, and work half time was difficult to say the least.  Did I mention that the kids' dad moved to another state right away?  I had no family in this state at the time.  My mother helped me from 1,200 miles south. HE helped me the most.  I felt it in so many ways. I finshed college on the dean's list.  Thankfully, I never had to collect welfare.  My kids are 35 and 36 now and both graduated from college right away.  HE never dropped the ball in meeting our needs.  I stood on Joshua 1:5 so many times.  Know that HE is with you and your babies.  I continue to hear your heart cry and am praying with you in Jesus'  Holy Name.

love and blessings,

Fran
12/5/2011 8:31:54 AM
jeff United States
jeff
You are not alone first single Christmas for me too. Kids and I decorated the tree and house after church yesterday baked cookies made hot apple cider to keep busy even completely turned over the tree decorations to a 6 and 9 year old it turned out bueatiful---- still fought off broken family tears several times as I unpacked the ornaments. We know yesterday God knows tomorrow. In Prayer, Merry Christmas to you and yours.
12/5/2011 9:16:21 AM
Doug United States
Doug
Beautiful children! True Gifts from the Lord Smile
12/5/2011 12:50:47 PM
Judy United States
Judy
Your comment reminded me of a book I read last year around Christmas, I believe the title was Christmas Letters.  It was a fictional story about a lady that writes Christmas letters for people to make things sound much better than they really I.  I remember one man's late teen son was in jail and she wrote that he was learning to accept help from outside authority figures from his new surroundings.  Yes, we all are imperfect people and we need to keep that in mind when we look at other's lives that seem so perfect.  Have a blessed Christmas.
12/5/2011 7:12:53 PM
Denise Knepp United States
Denise Knepp
love you  and more then ever christ is holding on to you with his loveing ways . may the lord fill your heart with a greater joy then you have ever had this christmass. when you need a hug hold on to those kids tight and feel his love though them. remember the joy of the lord is your strangth . rejoice always and again i say rejoice in the lord always.
Denise
12/6/2011 8:47:03 AM
Summer United States
Summer
Amanda,
Ive been a single Mom for 8 years (he left when kids were 3 and 5 and lives clear across the country. After the first year of not being able to get that Christmas tree to stand up straight (I laugh now) I went to artificial tree and pine smelling candles. After they go to bed I sit in the dark with the tree lit and thank God that I have them with me safe and that we continue to live one day at a time... God bless you. It does get easier...
12/6/2011 8:50:23 AM
Joe United States
Joe
Amanda,

I haven't been following your personal story due to limited internet and radio availability, and was totally oblivious to your situation about being a single mom this Christmas season.  Unfortunately I have been through a similar situation.....TWICE. I know that only my faith in God is what truly helped me stay on my feet. I have always been a churchgoer, and about 10 years ago I found radio ministry in my hometown, while spending 90 minutes in the car each way to and from work. This was at the same time that I found my life in shambles facing a second divorce involving children.  God spoke to me in that radio ministry, and those words and music kept me always vigilant on the radio dial, ultimately leading me to find KLOVE.  I have listened to your personal words of inspiration, and know that you are doing the Lord's work.  I hope to be half the witness that you are.  I have heard you pray for so many, and I just want you to know that on this day, you, and your family are in my prayers.  God is smiling on you Amanda.  Keep up the awsome work, and know that those beautiful children will help see you through these seemingly difficult times. Merry Christmas!

Joe
12/6/2011 6:59:27 PM
Anne United States
Anne
I appreciate your shares, more than you know.I can relate. My husband died recently and this is my first Christmas without him.
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