As my bright-eyed grandson bounded down the driveway, I could see a smile reaching from ear to ear. He rushed to the front door where I stood watching.  “I got mail!” he cried.

He could hardly wait for Grandpa to get inside the door and use the envelope opener to spill open the contents of the card.

Inside, a green creature, the legendary northern Wisconsin Hodag, with a Green Bay Packer peered at him.  “What’s that?”

“A mysterious creature, according to stories, that lives in the North Woods of Wisconsin.” answered Grandpa.

“Is it real?”

“No, it’s not real.”

Since he wants all imaginary creatures to be real, he shrugs his shoulders. Then he opens the card to an encouraging note, asking him about how he feels about waiting for snow. The writer knew he liked Superheroes, so she also sent him a coloring picture of Spider-Man.

Back to smiling, he excitedly puts the card and coloring picture back in the envelope so he could place it in his backpack to take to his house to show his mom.

What encouragement is

How important that small piece of mail was to him that day.  The excitement of something in the mailbox for him.  The mystery of what it was and who it was from.  The fun of opening it up and seeing the mysterious Hodag as well as the benefit of the coloring picture of something he liked.  All elements of touching his heart.  Someone cared enough to think of him and encourage him with a piece of mail.

Encouragement means an expression of support or approval or words and actions that assist or inspire someone.

In this case, the encouragement for my grandson were words that expressed support and approval.  Someone knew enough about him to encourage his interests.

How simple a card is

With the holidays right now, do you think a card makes a difference?  This example of my grandson receiving this card, I believe, shows it does.

How can you make the Christmas cards you send now encourage the people to whom you are sending?  I know for me, I can get in a mechanical fashion and think I have to get them done instead of thinking how the cards might encourage. I usually send a Christmas letter, hand written notes can be so encouraging to the receiver, at least from my point of view..

What made the card so encouraging?

Of course, as a child, he seldom gets mail.  Yet, I am not sure how often as an adult, I get personal mail either.  As I pondered this, I thought about what made the card so encouraging:

  • Personal to him
  • Supportive of his interests
  • Interactive with a tiny gift (the coloring page)
  • Conversational – she asked him if he was waiting on snow

How might I take some of these elements and make my Christmas cards more encouraging?  Even a sentence or two could make a difference. I also think encouraging can bring hope and joy.

What about you?

Are there people in your life that an encouraging card could make a huge difference to them?  I certainly saw the impact my friend made on my grandson.  Perhaps, you have littles in your life you want to whom you could send cards.  Or older people who are isolated, especially now who would love an encouraging word from you.

As I continue to ponder this, perhaps I’ll ask God who exactly needs my notes of encouragement.  Let me know how it goes with you.

God’s reminder

Encourage the hearts of your fellow believers and support one another, just as you have already been doing.  I Thessalonians 5: 11 TPT

May you give encouragement this blessed holiday season as well as be encouraged yourself.