The Wiggintons are Christmas card people. We like to send Christmas cards. We like to receive Christmas cards. We’ve always been Christmas card people.
When I said “I Do” to my husband in 1985, I said “I do” to many things! One desire my husband made perfectly clear during our engagement was that he’d like our newly formed family to send photo Christmas cards each year. He’d add, “It’s like opening up a present every time you open up a Christmas card.” Well, I certainly agreed with that simple marital request. Besides, who doesn’t like Christmas cards? That was an easy one. Or was it?
Although sending Christmas cards was super common when we said “I do” in the mid 80’s, very few folks sent photo Christmas cards. But, I thought, “how hard could a photo card be anyway?” I quickly set my newly-married mind to annually lining up a photographer (or taking a trip to the local JC Penney’s photo studio) to make my Steve’s wish come true.
The problem? When my creative hubby said he wanted a photo Christmas card he had in mind a whole different animal! Yep. Sometimes literally…an animal. Each year of our marriage, he has brilliantly crafted a clever Christmas poem (okay. It’s actually more like a rap). Then our family photo illustrates the written message. So, in the course of three decades we’ve had our family photos taken with live sheep (when the theme was “Mary had a little lamb, He washed us white as snow”). The year that “Wise Wigs still seek Him” we were photographed with live camels. You get the picture, right? We’ve had photos by garbage trucks, on receiving docks, atop high tree limbs, pink shag carpets, and even sitting behind a TV news desk (since we are bringing Good News!)
With digital technology the family photo process has improved miraculously. But for years we limped through rolls of film (and many retakes) trying to capture the best candid Christmas card shots possible. We’ve waited hours (or days/weeks back when you had to mail your camera rolls) for film to be developed…only to find someone’s eyes were closed. Plus, with each additional daughter we added…well…more variables. Capturing the perfect pic with toddlers, live animals, weather, and the more than occasional “attitude check” definitely made our annual Wigginton family Christmas card undertaking (I mean, tradition) a matter of prayer and faith!
Was the annual effort worth it? Without a doubt! Now those 33 photos line our stairwell. Folks often comment on how meaningful and encouraging the cards are each year. Because my hubby works with coaches and teachers in over 115 schools in our area through FCA (Fellowship of Christian Athletes ministry) he sees our Christmas cards hanging on chalkboards, filing cabinets and desks all year long! Why? Because they are so slick and fancy? No way. Even with digital development options my hubby still prefers printing the photos separately and glue-sticking them one by one to a half sheet of colored cardstock with our message. They are definitively NOT SLICK. They are SIMPLE. Sturdy. Their biblical truth is timeless. And the annual message points people to Jesus every day of the year!
Christmas cards may be waning in popularity, but funny thing is, folks still love receiving our common cardstock greeting. Yes ma’am. There’s just something special about finding an unexpected card in the mailbox addressed just to you—holding it in your hand, opening it, and receiving its personal message.
When you think about it, it’s really a picture of what God did that first Christmas! He sent us His message of love in a form the world could see and hold in human hands. In a form we could touch and feel. Jesus as a baby was not sent slick and flashy, but simple and real…like a Cardstock Christmas Card.
John 1:14 (MSG) delivers God’s Christmas letter straight to our home mailbox. “The Word became flesh and blood and moved into the neighborhood. We saw the glory with our own eyes, the one-of-a-kind glory, like Father, like Son. Generous inside and out. True from start to finish.”
Yes. Our God is a Christmas card sender! And guess what? Like our annual Wigginton Christmas tradition, sending cards is a family thing. That first Christmas, God sent His Word (Jesus) to us. And He’s still sending cards this year too. 2 Corinthians 3:2-3 explains His current cards of choice. “You yourselves are our letter, written on our hearts, known and read by everyone. You show that you are a letter from Christ…written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts.”
Wow! Do you get the picture God’s sending to us in these verses? It sends the message that…GOD’S SENDING US! YOU are Christ’s Christmas card! WE are Christ’s letter sent door to door, across this world, to be read by everyone! We are sent signed with Jesus’ blood, sealed with His Spirit’s power, and delivered with the Father’s love.
We are sent as Christ’s Christmas card into our marriages, homes, schools, teams, jobs and ministries every day of the year. Don’t worry if you are not a slick and flashy wife or momma. Trust me. People just love our simple cardstock Christmas cards. Everyone embraces Jesus in a messy manger. In the same way, our husbands will embrace cardstock wives that see God’s joy in the simple common pleasures of life. Wives that love them with a stable, sturdy love. Glued to each other with God’s Holy team Spirit…whether life is happy or hard. Our children will love real moms who don’t mind getting messy like Jesus. Whether it’s helping with the class Christmas party or mending a shattered heart, our children need cardstock moms. Our neighbors, friends, co-workers and the check-out clerk at the mall are looking for cardstock gals who are ”…Generous inside and out. True from start to finish.” (John 1:14 MSG) They need the simple, sturdy hope-filled message of Jesus that can deliver them through every situation they face year-round!
So, mommas, grandmothers, and daughters, open up your heart this December to receive God’s stamp upon your life. This is biblical womanhood. Let the Lord’s glorious purpose envelope you and BE His Christmas card this season! As God sends us out into our neighborhoods, we will in turn be preparing a whole new generation of cardstock females ready to be signed, sealed, and delivered to a world waiting to receive the simple, sturdy life-changing truth of Jesus. Yes. We are God’s legacy letters. Our daughters? They are the heart-written cards we are sending into this world today—and into the next generation tomorrow. By Christmas card-stocking now “we will be those who see God’s glory with our own eyes, the one-of-a-kind glory, like Father, like Son.” Like mother, Like daughter.
The Wigginton 2018 Cardstock Christmas Card
—from our family to yours!
It’s a permanent fixture in Beargrass Creek
The same yesterday, tomorrow, every day of the week
For centuries it’s stood the test of time
Taken for granted by most who’ve climbed
It’s called “BIG ROCK” in Cherokee Park
Trustworthy at dawn, Trustworthy at dark
Through the ups and downs, regardless of the man
It always provides a firm place to stand
God sent us Jesus with purpose as well
As our “steady” in the storm, our Savior in the swell
This Christmas for all who will ask and knock
He came to be our Eternal “BIG ROCK!”
May Christ give you a ROCK-in Christmas!
—The Wigginton Family (Steve, Kim, Teal, Tori, and Tress)
“Trust in the LORD forever, for The LORD Himself is The ROCK eternal.” Isaiah 26:3