Writing Next Year’s Christmas Letter

January 2, 2012 by  
Filed under Daily Devotions, Family

By Cynthia Ruchti –

The process of putting away Christmas decorations takes me well into the New Year. Even after the bins of candles, stockings, ornaments, and various sizes and shapes of nativity sets have been shelved, I can still walk through the house and discover another little tidbit I forgot during the clean up process. The mistletoe hanging in the hall. The little felt holly leaves tucked at the base of the kitchen canisters. The antique wooden mittens in the family room and the gingerbread house salt and pepper shakers.

Every year, it’s the same. The decorations go up in a day and take weeks to completely collect.

I like to pray over the cards and letters we received during the holidays, remember friends and family and what they reported about their lives. Only then do I feel comfortable putting away, recycling, or (gulp) tossing those Christmas communications.

But today it occurred to me that I am—right now—writing the material for next year’s Christmas letter. And so are you.

The lives we’re living today and next week and next month are the reports we’ll give in next December’s Christmas letters.

What do I want mine to say? “Dull year. Nothing happened. Didn’t bless a soul. Wasted my time. Focused on myself. Avoided hearing from God, so not much to tell ya. Merry Christmas.”

With the year this young, I still have time to make an impact on how that letter will read. I have a wide open door of opportunity to influence others, build friendships, plan meaningful travel, follow through on ideas for quality time with family members, take pictures of fun days with the grandkids, be caught smiling often enough that I’ll have photo images I’m happy to include, listen intently enough to the Lord that I’ll have something to say.

A promising year lies ahead. Maybe I’ll use a corner of my calendar to jot down exceptional experiences as they happen, exceptional verses I discovered in my devotional times with the Lord, exceptional books I read through the year, and exceptional touches with other people so next year’s Christmas letter will write itself and reflect on a year well spent.

PRAYER: Father God, every day with You is an adventure! Forgive me for the times I’ve rushed
past the wonder on my way to the next event. I pray You’ll give me a sensitive heart this year and that my commitment to living all 365 days of it Your way will make it a year worth celebrating.

BIBLE VERSE: “Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity…” (Ephesians 5:15-16a NIV)

About Cynthia Ruchti

Cynthia Ruchti tells stories of Hope-that-glows-in-the-dark through her novels and novellas, devotion collections, speaking, teaching, and a history of 33 years as a radio writer/producer. Her books have been recognized by RT Reviewers’ Choice, Retailers’ Choice, Family Fiction Readers’Choice, and other honors. Her novel When the Morning Glory Blooms (Abingdon Press Fiction) releases April 1, 2013. A nonfiction project—Ragged Hope: Surviving the Fallout of Other People’s Choices—releases July 2013 from Abingdon Press Christian Living. www.cynthiaruchti.com

Comments

3 Responses to “Writing Next Year’s Christmas Letter”
  1. Brenda W. McIntyre says:

    Thanks for this encouraging devotion, Cynthia.

  2. Robin Steinweg says:

    Thank you for this confirmation of what the Lord’s been saying to me for two weeks. Wow. Well done, Cynthia! You’re listening to Him–it shows.

  3. I am still working on my goals for the year, careful to consider where God is leading vs. where I thought I was going. Thanks for this reminder.

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