Sunday, December 3, 2017

“An Old-Fashioned Hello”

The Christmas season has officially begun.  I turned on the Christmas music yesterday.  I don’t know why, but it just seems wrong to begin celebrating before Thanksgiving!  

I guess people were pretty excited in my town this year.  The week before Thanksgiving you could view Christmas lights and trees up everywhere.  We could have taken a car tour around town and had a full night of viewing if we wanted to!

Don’t you just love all the holiday spirit…“Christmas movies, Christmas music playing on your favorite radio station (everyday, all day long), special holiday beverages, bells ringing, and decorations galore.  Not to mention all of the Christmas cards you get in the mail from those close to you and far away spreading their Christmas cheer.  It’s a fun time of year!

I like to get the Christmas cards where it says more than just a “Merry Christmas” or “love so and so”.  I like it when people take the time to write a little note inside.  It adds something special to the card.  It says… I was thinking about you as I sent this BEYOND just writing my name out.  It’s more personal that way.  At least, I think so.

I’ve been trying to teach my oldest son the art of the “Thank You” card.  He is going on a special mission’s trip with his senior class in May to Costa Rica and he is raising funds to go.  He has sent out several letters asking for prayer and support from friends, family, church folks, and the like.  As a result, several have sponsored him to go.

Each time we hear of a new sponsor, I have him send out a “Thank You” card.  At first, he acted like it was a chore I was making him do until he heard a recent response from a recipient.  It was a lady from our church that said…

“This is the first time I have EVER received a personal thank you from anyone I have given money to for a trip at your school.” 

It really meant a lot to her.  My son was impressed.  I reiterated to him that a “Thank You” card is a personal way to show how much you appreciate what someone else has done for you.  It means a lot more when you send it out in the mail… even if you could hand deliver it.  It shows you planned ahead, thought of them, and care.  Sometimes the extra effort to do the snail mail route says more.  It’s a nice surprise!

Have you ever received an “Old-fashioned Hello” in YOUR mailbox?   Something besides a Christmas card?  Was it a “Thank You” card or maybe even a hand-written letter.  My husband and I wrote letters to each other for a whole summer that we were apart in college.  I still have those special notes and cards.  I couldn’t wait for the mail to come each day, hoping there was a special surprise for me!

Recently I opened my mailbox to find a surprise.  It was an old school, handwritten letter (on lined paper and everything with more than one page attached) from my cousin.  I think she sent it to me as a challenge to write her back in the same fashion.  She COULD have written me via Facebook message or email, but she chose this route.

I left the hand addressed envelope and letter beside my computer for days to remind me to write her back.  It tormented me.  She lives in Germany now and it was so much easier to just catch up online, but it wasn’t as personal.

When the letter arrived, it brought a flash of memories of her and me writing one another as teenagers.  We lived two hours away from each other.  It was our way of staying connected.  Long distance phone calls were way too expensive back then.  We shared our life with one another on paper and it was special!

I think somewhere along the way we have lost something with the progression of technology.  I’m not saying all technology is bad, but something is missing… and I think that something may be the art of the “Thank You” card and the “Old-fashioned Hello”.  The personal touch that says I really care.  It’s time we bring it back!

With that in mind, I have a challenge for you.  Last year my family decided to keep up our Christmas cards.  We left them hanging from the doorway well past new years so we could pray for each family who sent us a card.  It was amazing and so powerful!  We even sent a picture of the card some sent us months later to show them we prayed for them that night.  It was awesome!

My challenge is this
I dare you to send me a Christmas card this year.  But…not just any card.   Send me one with a special, personal note inside.   Of course put the “Merry Christmas” and the “from so and so” too, but also write me a note of how we can pray for you this year.

This gives you the chance to step out of your comfort zone and do something “Old-fashioned.  It also gives me the chance to surprise my husband (Shhhh!!!).  I want all cards from this post to be sent to him at work (Faith Church).

Send cards to:
Al & Julie Davis
2817 E. 53rd St.
Anderson, IN.  46013

I dare you to get more personal when it comes to showing your love and appreciation for others this year.  Add a stamp and make it special.  The “Old-fashioned Hello” never gets old.  I promise!

Living to leave a legacy,