A Christmas Card Story

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My Christmas card is almost always sent AFTER Christmas. It is more of a New Year’s card. I guess this is partly due to procrastination, partly to the lack of a nice family photo, and because I use this as a tiny yearly journal of our family’s activities, I like to wait until the last tiny bit of our year has been spent. πŸ™‚ This year’s card had a little God moment that I wanted to share.

I started with our annual set-the-tripod-up-and-take-a-pic-using-the-timer-when-we-are-all-dressed-up-for-Christmas-Eve-mass photo. We have become so good at this that it only takes a few tries now, and the kids don’t even complain much!

It looked so much like last year’s card with our Christmas tree and gifts and decorations that I wanted to tweak it. In comes Canva and PicMonkey, two of my favorite editing and design sites.

I found a template on Canva with the words “Let’s light up the New Year!” and decided to run with it. I gave our photo a nice warm filter on PicMonkey and added dots of light.

I wanted to make sure that my message on the front made sense. “Let’s light up the New Year!” means implementing an intentional focus this year on being a light.

I believe we are called to be kind and generous and loving and inspirational. We are called to lighten the load of others and to lead them to the one true light.

The Front

I did a quick search of bible verses using the word “light” and came across this one: “Just so, your light must shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your heavenly Father. (New American Revised Edition, Matthew 5:16)”

I saw it paraphrased on Pinterest in a couple of ways and decided to go with this version: “May you be the light that helps others see.” Now for the God moment.

I wanted to make sure that I cited this properly even though it was a paraphrase, so I did another quick search and came across an article that told me just how to do it. And guess what their example was. MATTHEW 5:16!!! What?!? There are over 31,000 verses in the bible, and the one I chose was the example!

I knew it was a message for me for the upcoming year. That was solidified when it popped up again as a beautiful Instagram post from Joyce Meyer Ministries just a couple of days later.

I signed off on our Christmas card using this beautiful verse. I was so excited that I actually typed it with a typo that I didn’t even notice!


I always send myself a copy of our card to put in a file. It is so fun to look back on all of our years. First, I noticed that it printed out a little orange. Bummer. Then I opened it and saw my typo. Double bummer for this old journalism student. THEN I SAW THE BACK. We use the same company to send our thank yous at work. I did not notice that the default for the backside was set as a giant ad for our car business! Super embarrassing, BUT……

I have chosen my word (light) and my verse (Matthew 5:16) for 2019, so I will look at the BRIGHT side….we all got a really good laugh.

Happy New Year!! Be the light. God bless.


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  1. GB

    Love it! There’s a saying that angels can fly because they take themselves so lightly. We all need to be able to laugh instead of cry.

    Be the light, you bring joy to others, Karen. Good choice.

  2. Nancy

    Hi Karen,
    It’s good to see you posting again. You’ve been missed!

  3. Peggy

    I agree with Nancy!
    Loved your post, your goofs, and the pic of your handsome family. I love the verse as well, one of my all time favorites.
    I always do a Xmas letter and keep a copy every year (I am the “hard copy” generation). A few years ago I decided to give them as a gift to each of the girls so I made a copy of each one and put them in a pretty 3 ring notebook and gave it as a gift. Every year now when I do our Christmas letter I make sure that I three hole punch the ones for the girls so they can add it to the notebook when they are finished reading. They “treasure” this “treasure” as it pretty much chronicles their growing up and beyond years!
    Will look forward to your next post Karen. Keep up the good work.

    • Karen Carlson

      That is the BEST idea! I am totally going to copy it! Thanks for sharing and for always being so supportive. πŸ™‚

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