Christmas cards are a custom that seems to be slowly dying. I find this kind of sad. I've always loved getting and sending cheery little messages at Christmas time. Unlike some, I also love long, chatty Christmas letters and feel a little disappointed when a card arrives with only the sender's signature. Yet even I cut my card list in half this year. Unfortunately sending large numbers of cards has gotten too time consuming, too expensive, and like most other people I've found I can save time, money, and reach out to more people via the internet. Close family and friends whom I won't be seeing during the holiday season got cards, particularly those who never or seldom check email or Facebook. For everyone else, this is my Christmas card and letter. That doesn't mean you matter less; it simply means you're younger, more computer savvy, and more accustomed to computer communication with me than to paper communications.
If you read my blog, you already know the highlights of my year have been a new granddaughter in April, the release of If I Should Die in June, a trip to the Shakespeare Festival and to Touacahn in July, a reunion with my siblings and their spouses in October, and the purchase of a new car in late fall. I've attended soccer games, piano recitals, a dance concert, and celebrated birthdays with my grandchildren. There have been cookouts (sometimes cook-ins due to the past year's crazy weather), family dinners, ward dinners, and the acceptance of my next book Heirs of Southbridge slated for a March release. Below are a few pictures taken during this past year. On top of everything else, there has been the ongoing problem with knees that no longer cooperate and numerous shots to delay surgery on them.
So now that the chatty part of this Christmas letter is over, I want to wish you a merry Christmas and tell you how grateful I am for the people who read my books, my Meridian column, my blogs, and even my Facebook posts. Most of all, I want you to know that though I love the songs of Christmas, the whole Santa thing, spending a wonderful time with my children and grandchildren, becoming involved in service projects, and giving presents; the Christmas Season means more than that to me. I cherish most those quiet moments, found most often in the temple, when I contemplate the awesome events of the night Christ was born, when I feel deep in my soul the enormity of God's gift to us.
May each of you be blessed with peace, hope, and an assurance of Christ's love as we commemorate His birth and as you embark on the coming year.