I have been thinking a lot lately about a Merry Christmas greeting card I received last year from a distant acquaintance. I will never forget the feeling I had opening it. It is the similar feeling to the one I get when I see a piece of mail addressed to me (provided it’s not a bill). I was with my friend Megan, who is also an acquaintance of Shane. The card was beautiful…a winter scene with a pair of cardinals in flight in the background. “Merry Christmas,” the card read in silver cursive. Before I even got a chance to open it and see what was written inside, Megan exclaimed, “Merry Christmas? Doesn’t he understand that sending out Merry Christmas greeting cards is not politically correct?! How does Shane know that you are Christian?” You have to understand something about Megan – she is dear to me, but likes to make a big deal out of everything.
Although her point was valid, especially in the world today where we try to be inclusive of all creeds and cultures, it didn’t even register to me that Shane’s card could be offensive. I was floored to receive any correspondence from him; I didn’t care what it said on the outside! The fact that he thought of me during the busy Holiday season and decided to reach out to me at all overwhelmed any other feeling I could have had about cards that say Merry Christmas. I think that is what all cards, including Holiday cards, are intended to do. The simple act of purchasing a beautiful card, writing warm wishes on the inside, and walking it to the mailbox filled me with some needed Holiday cheer. I wish I could say the same for Megan!
When she went home that night and looked in her mailbox, she saw that she, too, had a beautiful Merry Christmas card from Shane. Megan showed it to me the next day. This time there were no remarks about political correctness or Christianity. She was deeply touched by Shane’s card. I still have the card he sent me to this day. I also kept the envelope so that I can surprise him with a Christmas card this year, and hopefully make him feel the way I did last year.