If you walk into any store or shop online between now and December 25th, you will see an increasing amount and variety of Christmas cards.
Snowmen, snowy landscapes, reindeer, wrapped presents, snow-covered evergreen trees, Santa Claus, cute baby animals in the snow . . . so on and so forth.
After evaluating the images, you then move on to assess the messages: notes wishing people happy holidays, joyful tidings, Christmas blessings, and good health to them and their family. All noble sentiments to be sure. But for the most part, modern, and even some seemingly-Christian Christmas cards, fall short of capturing the fullness of one of the holiest times in the entire liturgical calendar.
Let's Take a Step Back
To give you the five-second summary of the gravity of this celebration: Jesus, the Son of God, came down to earth to become a vulnerable, weak, dependent human child.
Think about that for a moment.
The God of the Universe, in the Second Person of the Blessed Trinity, left His rightful throne in Heaven at the right hand of the Father. He who is all powerful, omnipotent, eternal, and Creator of all things…took on hungry, fragile, aching human flesh.
He didn’t come to show off His power, hang out, or find a change of scenery. He came to make a sacrifice of Himself on our behalf, so that we might share eternal life with Him, even though we really haven’t merited such a mind-blowing and incomprehensible gift.
So. Don’t you think this reality merits a little more than a snowman holding a “Happy Holidays” sign?
Facing the Reality
It’s not easy to find greeting cards that capture the incredible, awesome gift of salvation just described. And in a world where efficiency and instant results reign, it can be difficult to convince ourselves that sending authentically-Catholic Christmas cards via snail mail is worth any possible extra effort.
That’s why we at The Catholic Company went ahead and carefully, prayerfully designed more than twenty Christmas card options for you to choose from, each featuring a unique image relating to the feast of the Nativity and a meaningful message that comes from traditional prayers, hymns, or Scripture verses. You can view them here.
To help persuade both your mind and heart that this is important, here are seven reasons why we need to bring back the tradition of sending Catholic Christmas greeting cards.
7 Incentives for Sending Catholic Christmas Cards:
1. You can send a Christ-centered card and still include a lovely family picture.
Most photo cards don't have a design that focuses on Christ and His birth. Catholic cards, however, feature images of the Nativity, or Our Lady, or Scripture verses. But it’s still important to send pictures of our families to our loved ones, which is why a 4x6 photo fits perfectly in all our cards! You get the best of both worlds when it comes to celebrating the liturgical feast and the blessings of your family’s year.
2. It gives you the chance to be reflective and intentional.
Secular cards and photo cards can often cause you to base your choice on what colors match your family photo or which one sounds the nicest. With a Catholic card, you can instead choose a design focused on which images, prayers, and messages fill you with awe and prompt deeper reflection of heart. Hopefully it will do the same for those you send the card to.
3. It shows that you recognize and cherish this holiday as a holy day.
The Christmas industry has largely been taken over by snowmen, reindeer, and “All I Want for Christmas is You.” Let your festive-yet-reflective card be a beacon of light to those you love as the Light of the World comes into our hearts and homes.
4. It serves as a profound reflection on beauty and truth.
A quick Church history lesson: illiterate medieval Catholics learned the fundamentals of the Faith through art, particularly through the bible stories portrayed in stained glass windows, murals, and other artwork in churches.
Catholic Christmas cards, especially ones like the Catholic Company’s cards featuring classic art, give you and your family and friends a chance to be in the presence of some truly impressive art from across the centuries, and hopefully learn something about Christ!
5. It becomes a subtle means of evangelization.
Serving as a kind of carry-over from the last point, Christmas cards with Catholic art, hymns, and prayers will give your family and friends, especially those who aren’t necessarily Catholic or Christian, a chance to reflect on faith-filled images and messages.
6. It fights the de-personalization of the digital era.
We often forget how wonderful it feels to receive a greeting card in the midst of our daily pile of bills and advertisements. The art of writing and sending cards and letters has become a lost art.
In an age where mass production and instant messaging take little time or thought, beautiful, thoughtful cards warm the heart and raise the spirits in a unique way, and become a true Christmas gift in and of themselves.
7. It’s actually more fun, more memorable, and less expensive than you think.
Especially when sending cards and pictures to family and close friends, it’s nice to have ample space to jot down a quick memory or have all your kids sign the card. Secondly, a beautiful card that can stand up by itself makes a free Christmas decoration for the recipient!
In addition, a 4 x 6 inch image is easily framed and can be displayed year-round.
Finally, if you think about the cost of photo cards, buying reasonably-priced greeting cards and basic 4 x 6 prints usually comes out to around the same price. No need to break the bank!
Some of you may be thinking, "Why do we need to think about this now, two months before Christmas?"
The point here isn't simply to boost sales or try to make you live in the future instead of the present. Starting the prep work for big projects early, especially ones that culminate during the reflective Advent period, allows you to have more time to peacefully prepare your heart for Christmas when the Advent season arrives.
To browse our selection of Catholic Christmas cards, click here.