It started 20 years ago when my grandmother called and said she received my Christmas card – a whole day ahead of my mom’s card. It became a friendly competition to get the cards to grandma first so we could enjoy her bragging rights all year.

Even though she passed away in 2010, I’ve kept sending cards so they arrive the Friday after turkey day. For me, it’s a labor of love and one that I probably spend too much time thinking about. #graphicdesignerproblems

I think it’s because I love hearing from friends and family so much during the holidays. Most evenings, you can find me sitting/sweating by the fireplace, carefully reading letters and smiling at photographs of people we dearly love. From childhood to high school, college to co-workers, priests to bishops and dear neighbors and school families – I am deeply grateful for the time and expense people go to sending out cards to our family.

There’s a catch, though.

We keep all of those cards in a basket and pull out one each night throughout the year, to re-read and pray for that family. It is the highlight of our dinner hour.

I’ve shared my ten tips for doing cards, why they’re a big dealย and enlisting child labor. Here’s a peek at this year’s card. I wish I could send one to all of you! Merry (early) Christmas, y’all.

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11 Comments

  1. Joanne @ Our ABC Life on December 22, 2016 at 8:40 am

    I have our kids grab a card to pray for that family each morning during our morning (rushed) prayer time before school

  2. Kimberly W on December 22, 2016 at 8:45 am

    I also LOVE sending and receiving Christmas cards. Thanks to winning a Minted giveaway through your blog, mine looked especially nice this year. ๐Ÿ™‚ I also love that you keep them year around and pray for the families at dinner, I’m going to have to start that. Your card is beautiful, I hope you have Merry Christmas!

  3. Nicole on December 22, 2016 at 8:46 am

    LOVE your card! I often wish I was a graphic designer because I spend entirely too much time looking at so many sites trying to find just the right card at the right price. I, too, absolutely love getting Christmas cards. It is one of my highlights of the holiday season. The kids are now at the point where they love to run to the mailbox and find the cards. I love that they love them as much as I do.

    Merry Christmas!!!

  4. Micaela on December 22, 2016 at 10:39 am

    Yours really is incredible. The one we received has been read and re-read to the point of looking rather bedraggled. ๐Ÿ™‚

    We have a family tradition of taking out the previous year’s cards during Advent and praying for a few families each night. But maybe we should do it all year! I love that!

    Merry Christmas, Whitakers!

    P.S. Our card is on its way!

    • Kathryn on December 22, 2016 at 5:27 pm

      Lol. Good to know it was loved. Can’t wait to get yours so we can pray for you.

  5. Cat W. on December 22, 2016 at 2:42 pm

    Your family’s culture of praying for one each day inspired my family-who receives considerably less cards– to use ours for a “family/person of the week” to pray for. We pray for them at the weekly family meeting and during bedtime prayers each night. We made it through October with the cards and have been picking other people since. Thank you so much for sharing year after year.
    Your card is really beautiful, too! I always love a newsletter but I never do one myself.

    • Kathryn on December 22, 2016 at 5:27 pm

      I love that!! How very special.

  6. Heidi on December 22, 2016 at 7:43 pm

    Where did you get the shirts? Beautiful family!

    • Kathryn on December 22, 2016 at 10:17 pm

      Thank you! We got them from a mish mash of places. Here goes: Mine/Scott: Texas Humor, Will: Jude Landry Print Co., John Paul: Stately Type, Anna-Laura/Clare/Luke/Gianna: Sweet Tees

  7. Karen on December 24, 2016 at 11:32 pm

    Will is taller than you this year!! Merry Christmas!

  8. Tammi McCarthy on December 27, 2016 at 5:53 pm

    I wish I could say that I was as “timely” as you are about getting my cards out…but I’m not. It’s probably the procrastinator in me that just can’t be consistent. However, I LOVE to receive Christmas cards. There is just something about staring at all those faces of the people whose lives I touch and am a part of. It’s my favorite ” non-spiritual” Christmas present every year……Merry Christmas! Your card is beautiful and phenomenal.

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