I would have talked about how sweet, patient, and observant my little blue-eyed baby is, how unlike the baby I brought home 3 Decembers ago. Maybe I would have mentioned that she is learning to play peek-a-boo and feed her mama crackers and imitate our silly faces and noises and her sister’s enthusiasm for dance. She is sporting 2 little bottom teeth, a soft patch of dark brown hair, and a grin, and she’s struggling to figure out how we all get around on nothing but our own two feet. She knows she needs to learn to stand first, but it is harder than it looks, she’s finding.
I probably would have then spent an equal-sized paragraph on the little curly-haired blond girl who keeps surprising us with her observations, story ideas, and borrowed phrases… and wearing us out with her repetitive pleas for special treats, stories, and more television time. She changes her clothes as often as she can get away with and resists jeans to the point of playing dead. I might have been embarrassed to admit just how much she loves all the brand name characters produced by Disney and Sesame Street, but I probably would have felt compelled to include this information for posterity’s sake. She loves stories and always asks me to make up new stories for her. (I am secretly hoping that this is an exercise that will eventually help me to stumble upon my award-winning novel idea.)
I would have probably implied that I was happy all the time with two funny and adorable little girls and that I loved my job (especially because I have the perfect part-time schedule) and would probably have glossed over the fact that at least once a month I catch myself indulging the self-pitying idea that I am overworked and under-appreciated and just plain tired. Because that sort of sentiment is just not very Christmas card worthy. Being a mother demands a whole new depth of selflessness so I’m glad my savior knows all about humility. I continue to pray for the patience, joy, grace, and thankfulness to fully appreciate the blessing of my life. Because I am blessed and I know it and I don’t want to wake up in a few years and realize I missed it because I was busy checking items off of my to-do list. But enough about me.
I would have cleverly transitioned into a paragraph about Paul, who is so perfectly suited for his job that it is obvious that it was God’s calling that brought him to this moment. He has prayed for and walked alongside some people going through some of life’s most serious challenges, and completed the three big Pastor Responsibilities: a wedding, a baptism, and a funeral, and he’s done all this with a gracious patience and an unshakable faith. Paul probably would have been too embarrassed to let me brag about how I admire him profoundly, both as a preacher and a father, and count myself fortunate to call him my husband. No, I take that back. He would’ve let that slide.
Of course, I should have mentioned in this letter that we bought our first home and we now live in this sweet little house that was well-loved by its previous owners, and is now well-loved by us and our daughters. We have done very little to improve the place aesthetically because it is all so functional and we are so practical.
But, see, I just didn’t get around to it this year. My apologies.