Notes from Jan

A Glad Christmas

December 21, 2016

Love giving and receiving Christmas cards, letters, and packages.

Hand-written letters/notes, still the best.

I know.  I’m old.

No card or hand-written letter from me, however, since I’m hoping for a family photo at Christmas. Think Valentine’s Day……..or Easter.

Last Sunday, Patrick ended the series on the Seven Deadly Sins and Life-giving Virtues.  Humility served as the exclamation point.

Typical Christmas letters are not known for humility.  It’s the time to make up things, a time for creative thinking and writing.

Who, but God, could handle the truth about me or my family? or yours, probably?

Patrick reminded us of an article in last week’s Boston Globe.  Trending now, a wish to swap  truth-bending Christmas letters for a slightly more honest approach. Some ideas from folks tired of trying to look good included:

“Dear Santa, We regret nothing.”

One family, “faces all aglow”, wrote, “This card has zero resemblance to our actual lives.”

And the braggart, “My kids are cuter than yours.  Better luck in 2017.”

Truth is, Christmas is a tough time for many of us for lots of reasons.

Saturday, Maggie and Kate spent the night. After supper and baths, they curled up with me in the snuggery to watch Pollyanna.

We all caught onto Pollyanna’s Glad Game and the difference she made in people’s lives through her determination to  find something to be glad about and coax others to do the same.

 The movie noted the Bible has more than 800 references to being glad and rejoicing.  I didn’t fact-check.

This I know, none of  us came from, nor have perfect families, but we can all find something for which to be glad, to rejoice.

Maggie, Kate and I played the game all the way to church.

I can be glad because….

Try it.




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  • Reply Sue Andringa December 21, 2016 at 9:00 pm

    Love it, Jan … “I can be glad because. …”
    My advent devotionals this season includes a “Daily God Hunt.” “Where did you see God today?” Love those questions.

    God’s richest blessings on you as you celebrate Christmas with family and friends, Jan …. and hopefully share more stories and ponderings with all of us in the new year. Hugs, Sue

  • Reply Dale Lefever December 21, 2016 at 9:05 pm

    Thanks Jan, but this reminder could not have come at a worse time. I just received the largest end-of-the year bonus in university history and was planning to fly to Frankfurt to pick up my new Mercedes. Now, wrapped in guilt, I will have to decide whether to give this money to the Salvation Army or feed a few thousand kids. Any recommendation base on “what would Jesus do?” 🙂

    Blessings dear friend, Dale

  • Reply Dede Petre December 21, 2016 at 9:20 pm

    I can be glad because Jan shares some great truths, thank you! AND there is a gift for you waiting on the CBMW front desk – another wonderful reason to come see us!

  • Reply wendy lane December 21, 2016 at 9:26 pm

    Hahaha – I love Dale’s comment! 🙂

    We often played “The Thankful Game” with our kids growing up. I will never forget Christmas 2011, 13 days after Sherri’s horrible accident. We were in her hospital room, Steve, Nicholas Sherri and I. Sherri with her 2 badly broken femurs, severe nerve damage, no feeling from the knee down in her left leg (except the nerve pain), double fasciotomy where they had to cut her leg open from ankle to knee in 2 places, as well as other more minor problems. Sherri, 25 years young wondering if she would keep her left foot, wondering if she would ever be able to walk normally again, ride her bike, dance?! Sherri, when we finished our little breakfast of Dunkin Donuts cinnamon rolls said “I want to play The Thankful Game. And she started. And then we all joined in. And before you knew it we were full of joy and rejoicing. It wasn’t really easy to start, but once we got going there was so very much we remembered we had to be thankful for! God knew how much it would help us when He told us to always rejoice and give thanks, didn’t He?! Truly we do have so much to be glad about! <3

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