(Another in our series of guest posts from my friend, the fabulous Stephanie Baker.)
I love Christmas cards. Over the years our family has created many homemade versions to express our greetings to family and friends. From a spray-painted snowflake to a professional portrait of us dressed as Dorothy, Tin Man, Scarecrow, and Lion (“There’s no place like home for the holidays!”), our cards have run the gamut. Nowadays we receive mostly photo cards from family and friends. Those pictures tell a story so much better than a long-winded Christmas letter! Every card, note or letter is received in our home with great joy and appreciation.
One of our most memorable Christmas greetings was created the year our youngest child, Will, was born. December 1988 found me at home with John, age 7, sister Emily, 4, and William, born in early September. Overwhelmed and exhausted, I was at my wit’s end as to what sort of photo to take of the kids for our card. Inspiration came at the hands of Emily, who before her brother was born announced in no uncertain terms, “it will be my baby”. Her motherly instincts inspired me to gather the kids and some make-shift props and costumes. A bath robe and a blue scarf for John, Emily in her nightgown with a pink shawl draped over her head, the infant seat with a faux sheepskin blanket and baby Willie in a cloth diaper. Yes, we had the Holy Family posed sweetly in front of our Christmas tree! All three with their most angelic faces – John steadying the baby seat, Emily’s hands held in prayer, and Willie’s little arms extended in blessing just like the baby Jesus. It was truly a Christmas miracle!
This Christmas 23 year old Will (no longer Willie) is engaged to be married. His sister Emily is engaged as well. Big brother John is Dad to a beautiful baby girl. Our family is growing at a rapid pace – Thanks be to God! Dear parents, the years fly by, so capture the moments carefully and share them generously with your loved ones! Merry Christmas!
Stephanie Baker is co-author of Kitchen Table Conversations: Preparing at Home for Sunday Eucharist (Twenty-Third Publications), with co-author Anna Humaydan. Stephanie and Anna are former parish DREs with Master Degrees in Pastoral Ministry from Holy Names University. They have presented workshops, in-services, and trainings for the California Dioceses of Stockton, San Jose, Sacramento, Oakland, Santa Rosa, Monterey, the Archdiocese of San Francisco and the Diocese of Dallas, Texas.