Nothing feels more like Christmas than receiving a constant stream of cheerful Holiday Greetings in the mail, full of handwritten notes, photos, and beautiful Holiday Christmas cards enclosed!

Here are a few tips to giving and receiving joyous Christmas greetings this year!

Take Your Family Photos During the Thanksgiving Holiday

Whether you use a friend or neighbor who can snap a picture of the smiling faces gathered to give thanks together, or whether you schedule an appointment at your local photographer, take a few minutes to capture the memory for yourselves and you will be ready to share it with others! You’ll be so glad you did! Our family has done this for years, and it’s such a treat to look back at them! You can coordinate the color scheme if you like, for an added treat! Try purples, or reds, or blues, or navy’s, or denim and pearls. If you miss Thanksgiving, try one weekend during December as early as possible, so you have time to get them printed out.

Select your Mailing List

Select the people that you want to send holiday cheer to this year. Gather all their address in one place. I know it may seem old-school, but getting something lovely in the mail, with your handwriting, still means a lot to the people you love. Remember that each stamp is about .49 cents, so if you send 50 greeting cards, that will cost you about $24.50. Send as many as your budget will allow, in order to stay connected with extended friends and family during the holiday season. They will love receiving your warm greeting! Ask for their address ahead of time, if needed, with anticipation of sending them a greeting.

Send Cheer

Consider what type of message you want to bring to those you love. Luke 2 tell us that the Angel of the Lord appeared and said, “Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring good tidings of great joy that will be unto all people,” (Luke 2:10 NKJV). “For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord,” (Luke 2:11 NKJV). “And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying: ‘Glory to God in the highest. And on earth peace, goodwill toward men!’ (Luke 2:13-14 NKJV). It’s so important that we get this good news in our hearts, so that we can share the good news with others! An additional thought you may want to consider if time permits, is to send the cheer that you’ve enjoyed throughout the year. Perhaps you celebrated a baby born, a special birthday, a graduation, a wedding, special acknowledgment on the job, a special trip, a new venture, a move, a special event or a retirement. Give the Lord praise for His goodness. It will do your heart good to reflect on the Lord’s goodness as you type up a page of “A Year in Review,” to print out and share with your family and tuck into the cards to share with others.

Make it Happy

While you address your Christmas Cards, prepare your home with soft Christmas music, hot apple cider, a candle, some treats, a fireplace, holiday clothing, and a heart of praise. Invite family members to join with you. Enjoy the process. Try to start early in December so as not to feel stressed. Don’t let it just be another task on your to-do list, but let it be a joy, and establish fond memories that you will relish and enjoy! Philippians 1:3 (NIV) says, “I thank my God, every time I remember you.”

Save a Few Extra

When you receive a Christmas Card in the mail from someone whom you have not already sent one to, return the gesture with love. Social etiquette requires that you send one back to them. So save a few extra cards, and stamps so they will be ready to go, and drop in the mailbox. It will be a tremendous treat for everyone that they were remembered during the holidays!

And remember:

“A man who hath friends must show himself friendly. . .”  Proverbs 18:24 (KJV).

“Let your light so shine before others that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in Heaven” Matthew 5:16 (NIV).

Article Written By: Debbie Harper, Ph.D.