This might be the most important Christmas card that my wife and I (Mr Mrs D) receive this year. Brad gave it to me at work (I work at New Danville, a nonprofit for adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities) the other day. Inside was more than a message about Holy Night.
The card said in ways that most do not, “I thought about you.” It didn’t include a photo of him and his pets; it didn’t have a printed “personal” message that was the same on every card; it didn’t have a synopsis of his year and his many achievements. Inside the card, along with its printed message, was his first name and last initial printed with a ballpoint pen. That’s all. Those five letters spoke volumes, including messages about thoughtfulness.
He came into my office to tell me what he had for supper the night before and what he was going to have that night. We often have that conversation. He asked a variety of questions and then said, “What’s your name?” I answered, after which he asked me to close my eyes. When he replied positively to my question about whether I could open my eyes, the pictured envelope lay atop my keyboard. He was proud to give it and I was humbled to receive it.
The next morning, I saw Brad in the parking lot when I pulled in. The first thing I did was call out to him that Cheryl really appreciated the card. I wasn’t sure that he heard me because he was simultaneously calling out to ask me if I had shown the card to her. As we approached each other, he said, “How did her eyes look when she saw it?” The simple honesty and curiosity of his question set me aback. “Her eyes welled up,” I said. By his question, though, I knew that he wanted his gesture to be meaningful; it was.
Be meaningful in what you say and do.