I believe that there's a miracle each and every Christmas. Some years we must look harder to find our Christmas Miracles than in other years. This year, however, we had a slap-us-in-the-face Christmas Miracle.
To me, Christmas is all in the cards. I love Christmas cards. I love to get them, I love to send them. I love to send them to people I haven't seen in years, I love to send them to people I see every day, I love to send them to people I just met, and I love to send them to people who will never send us one in return. If you send us a card, no matter what it is, what you do or do not write, I will adhere the bounteous beauty of your blessed beneficence to a door (two doors if necessary,) and leave it there for months.*
I freaking love Christmas cards.
(*Unless your name is Jason Chaffetz. I don't get why he sends a card every year. We can't even vote for him, due to the fact that we do not live in his district.)
The photo we send out each year is attended to with great detail. We think of the concept all year, we plan out the specifics, then we hem and haw, and hem some more. Why do I go to great lengths for the silly Christmas Card? Simply put, it's all Bryan Niven's fault. I took a photography class from this creative genius Bryan Niven about four years ago, and ever since, I've vouched and vowed that our family portraits will forever and ever tell a story. Isn't that what these pictures are for? So that fifty years from now your offspray can learn a thing or two of you? I guarantee your heritage is more interested in your story and less interested in whether you look like Jennifer Aniston (or whoever the "it" chick and dude are these days.)
This year, I had some sad news. "Spouse," said I, "there's no money in the budget for Christmas Cards this year. We won't be doing Christmas cards." Spouse got kind of mopey. I think he's just as much into the card thing as I am, but won't admit it. "How much is it going to cost?" He asked. I told him a dollar figure and Spouse moped some more.
(For some reason, I find the amount of cash I spend on the Christmas Card to be highly sensitive -- as sensitive, even, as my social security number. That's why I'm not telling you all the dollar figure. Even though I do the photo each year myself, there's the printing price, and the envelope expenditure, and the setback from the stamps -- it adds up.)
The next day, Spouse came home from work and fetched the mail. He opened an envelope, grinned, then asked, "How much did you say we needed for the Christmas Card this year?" I told him how much, he grinned even more, and handed me the newly-opened piece of mail.
Wouldn't you know, the overpaid escrow from our house situation was returned to us. And it was $3 more than what I needed for cards.
That, friends, is a true Christmas Miracle. An exhausted economy handed us some extra Christmas Card Cash. Here's hoping that this exhausted economy hands you something as well.