December 17, 2015

A Christmas Tradition

Years ago, my mom shared a brilliant Christmas tradition with me.

A Christmas Tradition | Christy Wright

Years ago, my mom shared a brilliant Christmas tradition with me.

Every year, when I pack up my Christmas decorations after the season is over, I write a letter. It’s a mixture of memories, prayers and dreams.

I started this in 2006, and when Matt and I got married in 2012, he started writing one too. It’s incredible—and often funny—to see what we were thinking in the previous year. For example, my 2006 letter begged, “God, please let me go on at least one date next year!”

Well bless my heart. I guess that was a tough year in the love department!

We write about all the major things that happened that year and all the things we hope will happen in the following year. Then when we get our ornaments out of the attic the next Christmas, we sit down and read the previous year’s letters.

It’s always fun to read your thoughts from a year ago—thoughts you may not even remember having until you’re reading the words on the page.

Not many people are great at journaling (I’m definitely not!) but everyone can sit down for five minutes to write a letter once a year! Here’s the best part: When you go back and read them, in your own voice and your own handwriting, it gives you a bigger perspective and more appreciation for what God is doing and has done.

These letters tell the story of how far He’s brought you and all the prayers He’s answered. They tell of the moments when He protected you, even when you didn’t realize it at the time. The pages are full of testimonies of God’s faithfulness.

And they’re always good for a laugh as well. There will be some things you just knew were going to happen a certain way that definitely did not happen. (And usually, you thank God they didn’t!)

There will be other things you hoped and prayed for, and now you realize just how small those dreams actually were. What God did was infinitely more than what you could have ever asked or imagined.

So a couple of weeks ago, Matt and I sat on our couch in front of the fireplace after unpacking ornaments and decorating our tree. As we sat there, surrounded by tissue paper that has been crumpled and uncrumpled many times, we read our letters.

Here are just a few highlights.

In the 2012 letter, I wrote a prayer about finding a house and being able to afford a down payment.

“Maybe we can at least afford something smaller, but it’s okay because it doesn’t have to be our forever house. I don’t know how we will do it . . . but maybe if Matt’s project sells then we could pull it off.”

A Christmas Tradition 1

Then, a year later in the 2013 letter, I wrote about how the project sold, we saved like crazy and were able to purchase a steal on an incredibly beautiful home that we will hopefully be in for a very long time.

In the 2012 letter, I also wrote about feeling God’s call to write and speak professionally, but I wasn’t sure what that meant at the time.

A Christmas Tradition 2

And then in the 2013 letter, I wrote about being promoted to a Ramsey Personality that year which was “so much more than I ever imagined.”

A Christmas Tradition 3

Matt and I write our letters separately, in our own styles. Mine are about seven pages and Matt’s letters are about seven words! And we don’t read each other’s until the next year. Although we write them separately, I realized last year as we read our letters that we both wrote about wanting to start a family the year before.

A Christmas Tradition 4

I sat there on the couch with my husband reading those words—the prayers of our hearts on the page from the year before with my big belly sticking out below the letter.

And then this year, with a little perfect, rambunctious boy climbing around our feet, we were reminded once again of God’s goodness. I can’t help but fight back the tears at just how faithful God is, year after year.

So this year when the Christmas season is winding down and you’re packing up your ornaments, I hope you’ll find a few minutes to write your own 2015 letter.

Next year, and every year after that, when you open and read these handwritten notes, I know you’ll be as blessed as I have been. And I hope you’ll be reminded of just how good and how faithful our God is.

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Leave a Reply to Kitty DozaCancel reply

  • Dot says:

    You shared this last year, it was great! Thank you for the reminder. Which reminds me . . . . I didn’t see my daughter’s, nor mine that I wrote out as we took everything out . Mmmmm.

  • Cheryl says:

    I have copied your blog and sent it along with my Christmas cards to my kids, whom are spread out from 1 hour away to Spain! What a great Christmas tradition! Thank you for sharing.


  • Rebecca says:

    This is an awesome idea, just sent it to my husband and sister too! So beautiful to get to read and recapture moments.. thank you for sharing and wishing you and your family a Merry Christmas!

  • Brittany Warren says:

    Thank you for sharing this sweet tradition. I too am NOT one to journal and often struggle pouring out feelings onto paper. However, this may be something I could get on board with. Love this idea so much! Merry Christmas to you and your family. (PS, saw you at Entre-Leadership in Louisville…you have such a gift of public speaking!)

  • Phyllis Shuping says:

    This would also be a great New Years activity! Instead of writing those dreadful resolutions, it would be nice to reflect on the past year, and then look ahead with dreams and optimism.

  • VANESSA says:

    Such a sweet thing to do! Thank you for reminding me that the the past is part of our future. Will try that and give the idea to my children! We tend to forget to easily, keep well and will pray for your dreams to come true.

  • Brittany says:

    Thank you for sharing. I have longed cringed and had regrets but your post made me realize the work God has done and continues to do in my life. He has brought me so far! Have a Merry Christmas!

  • Vera says:

    I love the idea! And from this moment on, this is going to be my family tradition as well! I’m actually gonna start writing my letter NOW! 🙂 🙂 🙂

  • Kitty Doza says:

    Christy Wright, this is great. Thanks for the wonderful ideas!
    As I was reading the comments, Karen Schuping, I also was thinking of doing this on New Year’s Eve, after the hustle and bustle of Christmas is past, and you have the time to sit and ponder, and wonder of the coming year.

  • serenity says:

    Wonderful idea. I write a letter to my daughter every year around mother’s day. I have them saved in envelopes in the safety deposit box. Someday I will give them to her.

  • Kendell says:

    I like this. Definitely a journal keeping fan…but with little babes this has all but stopped. This would be good. We did start making a short video each year when my hubby and i got engaged about the year and any hopes. All of those i have saved. Its fun to watch them- unedited and real.