We like simple christmas but we like so much about it that sometimes it threatens to spill away from simple towards crazy and hectic and overwhelming.  We can get caught up in too much of a good thing, occasionally.

So we remember to focus. And instead of mailing out a hundred cards or two or three or four hundred; instead of taking the perfect photo or printing labels . . . . instead, we sit down, tonight, and draw.  We hand draw, hand write, and pray into a few special cards for a few special people:  teachers, neighbors, leaders . . . .those who have served us and to whom we now have a chance to express real, not token, thanks.

Naomi rushes through a hand written card for each of the eighteen kids in her class and is delighted with her huge stack . . . but she is a producer of paper-goods and so she also manages thoughtful and sweet notes for her teachers.  Quinn kneels on his red chair, tongue emerging from side of mouth, breathing hard as he labors over one very special card for his very special teacher.  He draws a nativity scene and bright starlight and there is wonder in his work and I marvel.   And as he finishes,  I ask him to bless her by writing some words that she makes him think of . . . . he ponders long and hard and says the real word she makes him think of is “Jesus” and I tear up a little, imagining the size of that small complement to her waiting heart.

We will give these cards, intentionally, with splurge gifts – gifts of pampering and shopping- to a special few who shape our lives right now.  This too is honor, to focus in and to remember to give thanks, not just to Him but to them.  To remember the real value they add to our lives and then to find a way to adequately express a little of it.

I see our children glow in the awareness of their teacher’s soon-to-be joy . . . . and I am awed at the simplicity of generosity, honor, and intentionality.

It feels good.

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