Friday, December 7, 2012

Lessons Learned From a Christmas Card

I joined Caleb at lunch today to help celebrate his birthday with his classmates.  With all the allergies in his class, homemade birthday cupcakes were out.  Popsicles worked for everyone.

One of my very favorite parts of the holiday season is running to the mailbox every day and discovering all of the freshly delivered Christmas cards.  I love gazing at the beautiful pictures and reading the thoughtful captions.  The photos capture smiling, well-groomed children with arms slung around the shoulder of a sibling or hands crossed in a prayer-like fashion upon laps.  Each child looks angelic.  Each family appears flawless.  As I examine each image, I wonder if the pictures match the reality.

A few days ago, I opened a friend's Christmas card.  I gazed at the beautiful photo of my friend's four adorable children standing in a stair-step fashion.  Smiling.  Incredibly Cute.  Flawless.  I glanced at the caption under the photo.  It read: "Add an optional photo caption."  I skimmed the words again and then smiled and sighed at the same time.  My poor friend!  She forgot to personalize the photo caption.

I picked up a small paper insert nestled within the folds of her envelope.  In it, she admitted her omission and claimed sleep deprivation for her mistake.  She invited her friends to send their best idea for her missing photo caption and promised to post suggested captions on her Facebook account.  

I smiled and thought how this Christmas card was perhaps one of my favorites.  I think her card spoke volumes about her character.  I appreciate her willingness to be authentic and real.  She made a mistake.  It happens.  She wasn't afraid to let others see it.  How admirable.  She found the humor in the situation.  Bravo.

Yesterday I goofed.  I forgot it was make-up picture day at Caleb's school.  (You see, Caleb needed to attend the make-up picture day after I forgot to send him in "school picture appropriate attire" on the original picture day.)  Due to my forgetfulness, Caleb will be clad in his "Frogs of North America" shirt in his school's 2012 composite.  Embarrassing?  Yes.  But I found the humor/bright spot in the situation...I'm imaging no one else will be wearing the same thing!

Thanks to my friend for putting things in perspective.  Imperfect Christmas cards and botched school pictures won't mean as much in the long run as how the mistakes were handled.
  

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