Well, it was quite a two-day run for Christmas cards around here. For instance, the annual Christmas card writing party of Vital Signs Ministries was held in the Hartford home on Tuesday night, December 1 with 16 of us packed into our living and dining rooms. Upon arrival, Claire having decorated for the holiday season the weekend before, our guests found Christmas bursting out all over. And, regarding the card party, we were all set up for action. The coffee was brewed, the cookies laid out, and the colorful Christmas cards, envelopes, pens and colored pencils, address sheets, and Christmas-themed coloring pages for the kids were all arranged on the tables. Quint opened in prayer and off we went.

Our “target list” for the party included public officials, first responders, heroes of the Faith, and, using first names given us by activity directors at some of the senior living centers where we present (or used to present!) our “When Swing Was King” shows, we sent several, different Christmas cards each to 40 quarantined seniors. We took our usual 90 minutes of concentrated letter-writing and, being the experienced, diligent, and proficient people they are, we ended our party with 170 Christmas cards! Wow.

But actually Tuesday’s Christmas card party had been preceded by another
successful one; namely, the inaugural letter-writing outreach of Grace Bible Church. In that case, 21 people gathered in the yet-to-be renovated section of Southroads Shopping Center where the church will be headquartered in the near (we hope!) future. And though we didn’t have any Christmas decorations to provide atmosphere, there was Christmas music playing, flavored coffee and Christmas tea, and delicious treats provided by Claire and Paula. Those things, added as they were to the enthusiastic spirit of the Christmas card writers – many of them rookies in the art – made up for the lack of tinsel and colored lights. We shared a few letter-writing tips, passed out the address sheets, prayed for the Lord’s help in our efforts, and got busy.

The recipient list for this church-oriented party was different than the Vital Signs activity in a couple of significant ways. Our first responder list, for instance, was centered on the police, firefighter, and rescue squads of the geographic area in which the church lies. That was also true of the 20 names we had been given by a nearby assisted living center. Also, we wrote the missionaries that Grace Bible Church supports as well as several church folks who have been absent because of virus concerns and other health challenges. And like at the Vital Signs party, there was a bit of coloring and artwork created by the kids present to help adorn our cards. 

The result?  Well, a good time was had by all. That’s important. Even more so, however, was that 124 Christmas cards were sent out, all accompanied by our goodwill and earnest prayers. And as people filed out, we were delighted to hear several ask the question, “So, when are we going to do something like this again?” Thank You, Lord.

However, this two-day run of Christmas card writing isn’t the end of the work for there remain two more parts of this ministry to make it complete. The first is my writing up an insert to go into the cards we’re delivering tomorrow to all of the residents of the senior living centers.  This insert is designed to alleviate any confusion (as in “Why am I getting a Christmas card from someone I don’t know?”) and to strengthen yet further the ministry we are already engaged in with the residents of these 3 senior facilities. 

And the second part of the Christmas card party that is yet to be finished? Why, that’s your part! For even if you were not present at either party, it’s not too late to get into the Christmas action by writing a few cards on your own. Write friends and family. Write thank yous to those who have ministered to you. Write letters of advocacy and challenge to public officials, business leaders, and media. And, of course, if it would be helpful to you, please feel free to refer to the address list used at the Vital Signs Ministries letter-writing party. It can easily be found on our website. Just look for “The Latest Address List” under the Taking Action section. And for members of Grace Bible Church, we suggest you use the church directory for appropriate addresses.

Writing Christmas cards? Come on; it’s a splendid way to shine the light of Christ in this holy and joyful season.

But be doers of the word,
and not hearers only.