Thursday, December 8, 2011

Christmas Cards

Every year I give my students Christmas cards with handwritten personalized messages highlighting special semester memories. Few teachers exert the kindness to hand out customized cards—so I guess that makes me kind of special. In fact, I’m inclined to feel downright big-headed about my benevolence.
Before you become persuaded of my goodness, you should know that I typically give dollar store cards—the kind that smell like cardboard and wilt at a strong sneeze. Mine is the cheap Christmas cheer, the flimsy fa-la-la. I’m a Scrooge in Santa clothing. After all, the slacking ingrates have fallen asleep during lecture, failed to turn in papers, and forgotten to do their homework. So since they don’t deserve my generosity, I reason, the students should be grateful even for something so cheap.
I’m glad that God didn’t adopt my stingy view of seasonal sentiments. We didn’t deserve His message of hope. We deserved a postcard of reproof delivered by Arnie his gimpiest angel. After all, we’ve fallen asleep in our service, failed to fulfill His plan, and forgotten to follow His word. But still He sent tidings of great joy on His personal letterhead—His Son.
This Christmas in the middle of envelope licking, and stamp peeling, hand cramping, and address labeling, remember how much we ingrates didn’t deserve His ‘card’ on that first Christmas. Or, for that matter, any of the love letters He sends our way, not just at Christmas, but on every other day of the year.