Christmas cards were an adventure this year. Normally at my home convent, there are lovely cards made by silk screening artistic sisters and then provided for all to send or add to our homemade Christmas gifts. So…that not being available to me this year in Belgium, I had to be creative. I started early and decided on a photo I loved of the prayer plant in the Begijnhof chapel. Somehow I managed at my non-technological age to print the photo in the appropriate size with the ubiquitous Christmas letter formatted to fit a folded piece of printer paper. This was a one-weekend-long challenge of successes and frustrations but I was pleased with the result. Now after this was done and fitted into envelopes I could buy at the corner convenience store, a lovely much more artistic and colorful e-card came from the Sisters in America for sending. Oh well — it was fun making my own!
For my Begijnhof sisters here, each year they choose an image, sometimes the nativity in the church or the chapel hall or one of just the shepherds and sheep for their Christmas card. I got to vote also this year for one of the seven images laid out from which to choose. Then greetings in 4 languages are placed inside, considering the number of international guests and visitors coming to the Begijnhof and who are no doubt on the Christmas card list. When these cards were copied and ready, one recreation time was devoted to folding just like at my home convent. Some things are the same the monastery around.
Christmas cards to send also arrived in another way this year. An oblate arrived with a gift for each sister. I thought the gift rather clever, three Christmas cards apiece of traditional renderings of religious scenes by famous artists, Madonna and Child, the Nativity. Certainly it was a gift we could all use.
A Merry Christmas to all and Blessings of the New Year.