Joyful Gingerbread Men for all to Enjoy

Passing out Christmas cards has been one of my favorite holiday season activities for around ten years now. Since 2008 I’ve given away Robert Sabuda’s pop-up Christmas cards. Through the years there have been snowmen and gingerbread men and penguins and polar bears and Christmas trees and sledding children and snowflakes and other wonderful designs that pop into your life with holiday wonder and cheer. If the recipients of these cards receive half the joy I get through giving them then my job is one hundred percent complete.

I must confess as a boy I didn’t appreciate cards on the level I value them as a man. Saving cards wasn’t a top priority as a kid. I didn’t have the maturity to cherish the thoughtfulness the giver of the card put into it. Looking back I wish I had every thoughtful card ever given to me from age one to thirty-three.

A turning point occurred at age nineteen when I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder. The cards of care and love and get-well-soon mailed into my life and the tears rolled out of my eyes. I read the thoughtful messages and knew I was loved and that my friends and family were saddened and wanted me to be me again while having the quickest of recoveries. Since being diagnosed with manic depression I’ve saved all and any cards. I’ve saved thank-you cards and friendship cards and Christmas cards and birthday cards. I have three boxes full of these beautiful gestures that let me know I matter and am loved.

My encouragement to you on this Christmas Eve is to celebrate the good stuff in life. Appreciate those who love and care about you. Make a really big deal out of your friends. Treat strangers like you wish to be treated (they might become future friends). Show love and receive it in return with graciousness. Live your life like it’s a present or a thoughtful Christmas card popping up with joyful gingerbread men for all to enjoy.

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