As you may well know (or have figured out from a previous post), Christmas is my favorite time of the year. As a teacher, I get a full month off to spend time with my family and those friends that I don't see as often as I wish. Fireplaces are all alit with roaring fires (or candles at my mama's house -- we're all too allergic to have a real fire!). I realize it's not even October, but Christmas requires a good bit of preparation. One thing I love to do is send out Christmas cards. As a graduate student, I can't always afford to send them out, but when I can -- I love it. I am a huge fan of snail mail in all forms. There's something about Christmas cards. As I write the names of those friends that I love dearly but haven't seen in a few years, I remember mini-stories about out friendship. As I place the card in the envelope and seal it, I send a little prayer up for them and heartfelt good wishes. I was reminded of Christmas cards this afternoon when I received an email about ordering them. I used to work at A Printed Affair in Jackson, and for some time that's where I bought my Christmas cards. However, over the last few years my venue has changed. As a die-hard Red Sox fan, I've become quite familiar with the Jimmy Fund and the work of Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. After a Red Sox trip to Boston, I decided to order my Christmas cards from Dana-Farber. All proceeds go to the Jimmy Fund, and many of the cards are drawn or designed by the cancer patients. A part of my heart lives in this children's hospital in which I've never stepped foot. I have, however, stepped foot into St. Jude's in Memphis. St. Jude also sells Christmas cards designed by their patients. Many local children's hospitals do things such as this as well. I'm not asking you to break your budget buying things you will never use, but I do want to ask you to consider these venues when you are considering your Christmas card purchases. Instead of benefitting the retail sector of you town, consider benefiting a greater cause. Not only do your friends receive a beautiful card filled with your love, but you can provide hope to millions of children.