new life fellowship

serving jesus christ the king

Searching for a Christmas Card

I spent nearly half an hour looking for a Christmas card for my wife on Monday. It’s a remarkably hard thing to get the right card – especially when you rule out the crude ones which no man in his right mind would give to his wife, suggesting that he is only interested in her for one reason!

And when you have done that, what are you left with? Plenty of variety of shape and size—but all the card writers this year seem to have eaten from the same bucket of sentimental goo. It might nourish them, but frankly it was more likely to turn my stomach, never mind cause my wife to laugh uproariously at me for spending €6 on it.

You know the sort of turgid stuff they write “My dear, the first moment I set eyes on you, I loved you with all of my soul” – what sort of shallow numbskull would ever say that to his wife? It’s just a polite way of saying “Your looks are all that matter to me—I care not for the beauties of your character, the gentle way you deal with others, the wisdom you display…”

And then they usually end up saying something like, “I love sharing every moment with you, and will do for all eternity.” Could you really give that one? I’d be afraid my wife would call to mind all the moments in the past year when I was far keener to watch the rugby, the football, or read a book than to share that moment with her. It might be dangerous for a relationship to send that card!

I haven’t browsed the “To my husband” section for obvious reasons, but I presume they are of the same ilk. Unless of course those cards are written by women—then they might say something more perceptive.

I think I’m looking for the sort of card that says, “You’ve put up with me again for another year—I don’t know how to thank you, but I love you even more than I did this time last year.” Just a Christmas card that’s honest—not one that sounds like a fairy tale, that paints me as Prince Charming!

But maybe that’s really what people want—a way of keeping up the pretence about themselves; a little piece of card to put a nice warm fuzzy glow on everything for a day or two before we have to get back to reality. Is it just papering over the cracks?

Perhaps we should ask what does the Christmas card I send to my wife/husband really say about me? Or perhaps are we too afraid to face up to ourselves? You see, the Bible encourages that sort of self-assessment. God sees behind our masks. Shouldn’t we have a peek too? The Bible knows that, although we will find out that we are far worse behind the mask than we realised, God’s solution is more radical than simply papering over the cracks. When we turn to him we find hope of transformation that starts inside and works out.