Dear friends and family, 

I’d like to formally thank you for the picture holiday card, the holiday card containing pictures, or the old-fashioned boxed card you grace my green metal mailbox with each and every December (or January—I’m not a stickler for punctuality myself, and I find it helps to extend the season). 

Please do not stop. Ever. 

I know it can feel like a hassle every year to try to round up your assorted offspring, chosen family, and pets and get everyone gussied up for a festive photo (or 50). That the burden of scheduling this, choosing outfits, selecting photos, and creating the greeting is often borne by one family member alone. I know this holiday tradition can sometimes seem obsolete. I know the amount of address-checking, envelope-licking, stamp-sticking, and hand-cramping that accompanies this mostly thankless task all too well.

So I have decided to thank you. 

RELATED: Creating Christmas Magic Is Worth the Effort

You see, there is this window of sorts in my kitchen. It is directly above the sink and looks into the sunroom. As you might imagine, I spend a lot of time standing in front of my sink and looking through this window. A few years ago, during the dark holiday season of 2020 when the love of most of our kin had to be expressed from afar, I began to hang holiday cards around the frame of this window as I received them. My young children would look at these photos of people they had not seen recently enough to remember, and I would get to tell them about all of these incredible people who love them and miss them and with whom we would reunite on that promised “someday soon” when “we all would be together.” Those cards meant a lot to us that season, and they hung proudly in clear view of anyone who entered my kitchen through the new year and beyond. 

And then, at the beginning of 2021 as we packed away our holiday glitz, I made a decision: I would not take them down. 

Now, I’m an excellent procrastinator and laid back enough to leave up decor items long past their prescribed usefulness even when I have the best of intentions to take them down, but that was not the case here. It would have been easy and quick to pull them all down and put them in the trash during one of my occasional bouts of motivation. The cards had come to feel like part of the decor of my kitchen.  

RELATED: Moms Are the Christmas MVPs

And so they remained, to be gazed upon, enjoyed, and explained multiple times to different people throughout the year. To finally be taken down the following season when a new, updated card arrived to take its place. And so on through this holiday season, when nearly each day I have a new card arriving in the mail, usually with photos of people we care for very dearly. I have the opportunity to admire the card with my children as we hang it up, noticing the ways in which our friends, cousins, and pets have grown and changed over the past year. 

This is the season I finally decided to make it official and declare it truly intentional: we will keep your card up in our kitchen for the whole year.

Because we love you, and we love having the chance to remember you at random moments throughout our daily lives. Because we so truly appreciate the effort that you took to create that beautiful greeting and send it our way with such intention. 

Happy holidays! 

So God Made a Mother book by Leslie Means

If you liked this, you'll love our book, SO GOD MADE A MOTHER available now!

Order Now

Check out our new Keepsake Companion Journal that pairs with our So God Made a Mother book!

Order Now
So God Made a Mother's Story Keepsake Journal

Patricia Bernstein

Patricia Bernstein is a stay-at-home mom and a part-time mental health counselor in private practice. She lives in Connecticut with her husband, two children, and two cats.

7 Tips For Proper Etiquette When Sending Out Christmas Cards

In: Journal, Living
Holiday cards

Happy Holidays everyone! Who doesn’t love this time of year, when most (well other than the monthly bills) of the mail is so much fun to open with a loving card from your family and friends! I love receiving the witty letters that some of you write, as well as the charming photos on the cards of all of your families! How can you not be excited for the mail each day? Many of you have your own personal traditions when sending out Christmas cards, but there are still some rules everyone should observe to make sure your holiday cards...

Keep Reading

Christmas Will Not Be Perfect This Year

In: Motherhood
Kids making Christmas cookies

This Christmas will not be perfect. Despite the lofty goals I set for myself to have everything in order and looking like a Nancy Meyers film before my in-laws and mother come to town, my housekeeping skills will not be lauded. My garage will not be sparkling clean, a place where one delights to go forth and breakdown boxes. In fact, the boxes will likely not be broken down at all. They will likely be tossed into the garage with a toddler on my hip, waiting for the “someday” when that seems like the best use of a naptime.  My...

Keep Reading

11 Traditions To Start With Your Family This Christmas!

In: Living, Motherhood

(Sponsored by The Star in Theaters November 17) Friends, I can’t believe the holidays are upon us. Wasn’t it just summer? Kids have a way of making time fly faster than normal, right?  This Christmas season, our family wants to be intentional about spending time with each other. Our girls are 9 and 7 (I know) and the baby just turned 8 months old! We’ve been running around this year and haven’t spent enough time focusing on just the five of us. We’re hoping to recharge our crew over the next few weeks with these family-friendly activities! Hopefully this will...

Keep Reading