A lovely friend here was spied out of the bedroom window a few years back. He was in the road opposite with a sketch pad, although at the time I didn't know if he had responsibilities as a surveyor or recorder of social information.
A few days later all became clear as a personalised, hand-drawn Christmas card arrived. This has been happening for ten years and we display the set, trying desperately to arrange the story in chronological order.
One of the cards even includes an exact depiction of my dressing gown, which is worrying. But we love the investment of time, in us, that the cards represent.
Advent is a funny time for remembering people. Having just worked my way down our Christmas card list I have had several moments of wondering if we have been sending a card to the wrong address for a number of years in some cases. How do people tell you of their change of address these days? So many possible ways.
So, practical Advent thought; if you get an update on family details, note the info down now in your Christmas card file (tell me you have one, please).
And spiritual one. Spare a payer for all those you send cards to, and all you receive them from.