Standing in the drug store card aisle, reading Christmas cards “To Husbands,” I realized that Christmas is another one of those milestone report card times in one’s life. It’s when one is annually confronted with the state of one’s marriage in no uncertain terms. Here are the first four texts I sampled of the pre-fab marital sentiments:
“Grateful doesn’t even begin to say what I am for you, for your love, for the life we’ve made together. Lucky, blessed, completely and totally thankful.”
“Another Christmas. Another beautiful year together when the greatest and best gift in my life has been you.”
“I especially love what it feels like coming home to you—knowing that your warmth, your love, and the lives we’ve made together are all right here. Merry Christmas, with all my love.”
“You do so many things to make sure this life we’ve made together is a good one. And it is. It’s more than good, it’s secure and happy and loving, it’s busy and full of fun, it’s complete. There’s not a lot I can ask for this Christmas because I’ve got a life full of love and I’ve got you to share it with.”
I wonder if people experience “Christmas card crisis” about now. You know what I mean: They need to have a card for the husband to go with the gift, but they cringe a little at the words. What if he actually reads them! What if he is embarrassed too by the sudden recognition that their relationship isn’t everything Hallmark says it is? What if there isn’t really much “gratitude” and “warmth” and “love” and “feeling of security” and sense of “sharing a life together”?
If we don’t want to be embarrassed by our Christmas cards in December, we need to start working on our marriages in January. Then for Christmas 2013 we will be able to look for the most schmaltzy, over-the-top card in the rack. And rather than hope our husbands won’t read too closely, we can circle and underline parts.
Let’s grow into our Christmas cards. With God all things are possible.