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A tradition I started about five years ago was writing Christmas cards. I spent a lot of time with my grandparents as a kid, and they would ask me to check their mailbox for Christmas cards, often multiple times during a visit because the mail hadn't run yet. They would watch the mailbox from the window to get those cards just as soon as the mail person delivered.

They would light up with joy with every single one, especially ones with pictures and hand-written notes. Each year as they got older, the number of cards dwindled because people would post on social media and text Christmas wishes instead, or because more of their friends were passing away. At that point, I realized the importance of my generation carrying on the tradition of sending paper Christmas cards.

I like to buy completely blank cards to write a personal note to each person by hand. I always include a Bible verse from the nativity story that sticks out to me that year. When making my Christmas card list, I try especially hard to include folks from older generations, shut-ins, nursing home residents, and people who have lost loved ones.

This year, my list is much longer because I can’t greet many of my friends and loved ones with a big ol' hug like I normally would. I am incredibly grateful that Christmas cards are a tradition the pandemic cannot take away from me, and if anything, it will make the tradition that much sweeter.

I encourage everyone to write a few cards this year just to let them know how much they mean to you and that you’re thinking of them. We all need a little extra love going around this year!