Thursday, December 8, 2011

A Mery Christmas Tale

Once upon a time there lived a family, a mom and dad and their two darling daughters, who grew up and lived in their own apartments in two different states far away from their parents home and hearth. I know that's sad but don't worry, the story has a happy ending.

As with most of life's small details mama was in charge of the family's Christmas card each year. In spite of her babies growing up when she had her back turned for a minute, Mama still wanted to include them in the annual family photo card. She knew it would be silly to have a family Christmas card photo without all family members present and accounted for so way, way, way back in late August she had a brilliant idea.

Her whole little family would be together for a fun filled weekend celebration of baby girls 21st birthday in early September. Mama knew this was her window of opportunity and she seized it. She also knew this Christmas picture would be taken in warm weather under sunny skies so in a fit of creativity Mama decided to add just a splash of the meaning of the season to the photo. She purchased wooden letters from the craft store and painted them a cheerful Christmas green. She even remembered to haul those painted letters through three states to the birthday celebration. Sometimes that whole 'remembering to follow through' part of a great idea is where Mama drops the ball but not this time. No sirree, she was on top of her game.

Let's recap-it was September. Christmas was still more than three months away yet Mama had her whole family together, dressed in non-clashing clothing, smiling for a photographer (okay, brother in law) under sunny blue skies, holding holiday letters she had painted herself. Mama rocks!

The seasons they go round and round and now it's early December. Mama spends hours perusing various and sundry websites to find the perfect template for her photo. She discards all those that are too busy, too wordy, and too tacky until she finally lands on one that is just right. The color scheme matches her family photo to a T and the wording is simple. The photo is the star which is how she likes it.

She ever so carefully enters her text onto the backside of the card template, checking each and every letter as she goes. She reads it back over and over again to be certain there are no errors because a spelling error in the Christmas card might just send mama right over the edge. She hits enter and she smiles.

A week or so later her cards arrive in the mail. She tears open the box, anxious to see how it all came together. She has company in the house though, so she only has a minute to glance at the package and she is happy. It looks beautiful and her carefully thought out plan has come together.

The hubs comes home. She cannot wait to show him the card and as soon as he has greeted their guests she calls him into the other room to see her handiwork. He takes one quick glance and pronounces, 'The word Merry is spelled wrong."

Wait, what?

What did he say? A spelling mistake? That can't be. No no no. Mama had checked and rechecked and triple checked her spelling before hitting enter. She looks at her pretty card again. Mery Christmas.

Mery? Really?


The only teeny tiny bright spot here is that the mistake is not hers. The mistake is on the front of the card in their template. Mama thinks she might cry but instead she sits with her company who are family, and they talk about big serious things going on with people they love and Mama regains her perspective once more.

She calls the printer the very next day and they are apologetic and kind and they give her a full refund and tell her they will give her free expedited shipping and 50% off a new order which makes Mama mostly happy. Since the error was in their template she can't just reorder the same card. She has to choose a new card. Under pressure. So she does. Actually Mama does some of her best work under pressure.

And so a new card will come and it won't be her first choice but the wishes it holds will still be the same. And Mama won't have a picture for todays photo challenge whose prompt was 'stamped and addressed cards' but she will have joy in her heart anyway. Because Christmas is coming, and when she thinks about a baby born in a manger over 2000 years ago she knows that a less than perfect card is not such a big deal.

"So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child." Luke 2:4-5 (NIV)


  1. Great way to put things in perspective! I for one needed that reminder. Some of the other junk that has been going on really isn't all that important. Have a great day!

  2. What an excellent reminder of just what the Christmas season is about ... not beautifully-decorated trees, not spectacular tablescapes, not piles of Christmas presents. It's about remembering the baby born in a manger who lived and died a brutal death - to provide a way to the Father.

    Not that there's anything wrong with all the trappings and traditions of the Christmas season (as long as they are not our focus). So I cannot wait to see your cards (even if they *are* your second choice). ;-)

  3. Well, one year I sent out our annual Christmas newsletter with last year's date printed at the bottom. I was a mess for awhile, but, like you, I remembered what Christmas is truly all about and the stress of the moment just washed away.

  4. Isn't funny how a small thing can almost ruin our day. I know that I have to step back and look at the total picture, and then so often I find that my problem is correctable, and even sort of funny.

  5. Beautifull! Can't wait to see the finished product!

  6. what a beautiful story, funny, sad and lots of love in the middle, happy ending too!

  7. I'm happy there was a positive outcome, because this story stressed me out for a bit there! :)

  8. Joyce- you are too funny the way you spin tales! Glad this one turned out well! I know all too well the scenario of getting everyone together for that all important Christmas photo! This year, our cards are just going to have to be late.

  9. Oh no! Who would've thought that a company wouldn't know how to spell Merry Christmas?!!!

    I'm glad you are taking the news so well :) I'm sure your second choice will be beautiful, too.

  10. Yikes! I wondered what was up as soon as I saw the typo in your blog title. You don't make those kinds of mistakes!!

    Loved the "tale."

    And glad the Christmas card challenge is resolved!!

  11. My heart SANK as I read this!! But I'm glad you ordered early so you could get at least some resolution (second choice) in this matter. And glad you had the family together for that all-important and sweet family photo!

  12. Glad it all worked out for you. Funny how things can look different when we take some time to really reflect on the situation. Even if you didn't get the cards out it would still be okay. The way I'm moving (molasses) maybe I should send out New Year's cards!

  13. Beautifully written! What a sweet blog you have! Keep writing and inspiring...
    Merry Christmas,
    Kathleen Frangeskos at
    Jesus Knows You Best

  14. Oh no!! Well at least it was caught before you sent them out. And you're right...there's nothing like hearing about what other people are going through to give you a good dose of perspective. Glad you were able to get it all worked out. And yes, that sweet little baby is really what it's all about.

  15. What a wonderful perspective - and yay for you for being so on-the-ball that it allowed for the corrections to be made!

  16. What a hoot! I'm so sorry that your cards didn't turn out as planned, but it sure makes a funny story. And you're so right about the perspective. Thanks for sharing.