*This has been a bumper crop year of Christmas cards for me. I absolutely love them.

Some have photographic covers of family members and cherished friends. Others have scenes of snow covered forests which seems a bit surreal because I live in Los Angeles and we’ve had summer like temperatures lately. Many have been artsy. And a few have been ho-ho-larious.

I feel like a kid when I come home each day as I race to the mail box to see if I have a shiny new card and who it might be from. My collection is becoming quite impressive. What’s more impressive is that people actually sit down, write an inscription, sign their name, address the envelope, affix a stamp, drive to the post office and mail the card. Whew…I’m tired just thinking about the work involved.

One thing for sure is that I have to get off my duff and mail my cards after I buy them, write an inscription, sign my name, address the envelopes, affix the stamps, and drive to the post office. Whew…that’s a lot of work after a long day at the office.

I don’t know what has rekindled the act of sending Christmas cards this year. It’s just as easy and immediate to send a Christmas e-card for free. It’s untraditional, impersonal, and probably violates some social code of ethics. But so many people transact everything on-line and  if you are reading this you are on-line right now.

However, I do know that it’s been tough for a lot of folks this year. Perhaps doing something as venerable as sending a Christmas card is a way of saying, “I’m ok and still standing; I hope you are ok and still standing too.”

When you get a card in the mail from someone you haven’t heard from in a while and read it, it does bring a smile to your face and a quite consolation and elation that they remembered you during this sacred season.

I am encouraged and moved when I read the array of short notes and inscriptions on these precious cards. I know first hand some of the senders have weathered the worst of storms. Yet they remain hopeful as they sit poised to welcome a new year and its endless possibilities. Their well wishes and words of hope and optimism for me are so poignant I know they spring from the “substance of things hoped for and the evidence of things unseen.”

Now I am  really motivated to get my cards in the mail – pronto. The bevy of Christmas greetings I’ve received have inspired me, humbled me and made me fell a bit guilty – all at the same time. With just over a week left until Christmas, I’ve decided I  don’t want to send a traditional holiday card. I want to send a special card that transcends the seasonal greeting.

So I created a little something something. It’s homespun but heart felt. And it’s what I sent out to my friends and family to inspire them and ignite a sense of expectancy and hopefulness today and in the year to come. If it looks vaguely reminiscent of the principles of Kwanzaa, you’ve right –guilty as charged.  The card says:

I have faith that the New Year will enliven a sense of unity, spark untapped creativity,

and invoke a renewed sense of purpose. With self-determination and the will to build a better future, you will not only take on new challenges with strength, wisdom and courage, you will conquer them through the power of the Creator.

I’d like to share this card with you in hopes that you will share it with your family and loved ones too. Just download it from here or cut and paste this link into your address bar: https://docs.google.com/viewer?a=v&pid=explorer&chrome=true&srcid=0B7f34KTxFQvyNGMxN2ZlNDMtNjhiMC00NDE3LTkwNGItOGNlZGI2OTA2YzU3&hl=en&authkey=CPGJhZkP .

Make sure you use a color printer and select “file” and drop down to “print.” Ecru or ivory colored paper is a nice touch for this card. Once printed, fold the card in quarters, sign and mail or attached to a gift. You can purchase invitation size envelopes from any office supply store. The cost for 100 envelopes is about $10.00.

If you haven’t mailed your cards yet, perhaps this will motivate you since it’s literally at your finger tips. However, if you send the card out after Christmas, no worries. The message is a wonderful New Year’s sentiment that would be a welcomed surprise to any recipient.

May you have a happy and blessed holiday season.

(If you have comments about Veronica’s View, email them to [email protected])