One very special part of Christmas has always been the selection of the perfect Christmas card. Especially when it came to HER card ... the card that would be displayed proudly on the mantle ... Merry Christmas Mother.

It took awhile and was always a hard choice. Not hard because she is mom, but hard because you want the card to depict what you truly feel and the sentiment that she will recognize as she knows you better than everyone else.

Each card is special indeed and they all have a message, but which message is just right? That is the struggle. But let me tell you from experience that you will be so glad you did it! If you don't do this, start now. If you do this annually, don't stop. You will be glad you did! Cards, letters, notes for mom and dad, those you love, those who need a boost: Just do it. It is awesome!

Some cards will remind her that she is your best friend. The message: “I'm so glad God gave you to me. Of all the moms in the world, we hit the jackpot.” Or that quirky card that asks: “Was that really you kissing Santa Claus?”

I don't remember what the 2015 Christmas card conveyed, but I'm so glad the purchase was made and the card delivered. Each year she always told me, "I liked your card the best"! Well that is not true; she loved them all. Cards and notes from friends near and far, she read them all and enjoyed being remembered and also having some news to share with Rose or Carol or Edna or anyone who would listen. She had a particular Christmas joy reminding me that a friend in Georgia she met while visiting our church at the time would send her an annual Christmas letter and gloated that I was not even on the list!

This year the story is so very different. Standing at the special section featuring cards for moms at Christmas, tears slowly escaped from my eyes. But after all, a full heart has to have a place to leak. I tried, but a quick brush across my cheek was in vain as the tears would not stop.

The reality hit me. She won't get my card this year. And after a few minutes, tears were accompanied by a smile on my face as it came to me that she heard our card and love greetings all year. She left us knowing that she was loved and cared for greater than any greeting card could ever hope to convey. She, like the biblical account in Matthew, used her talents on Earth to glorify God and because of her faith in Jesus has heard the greatest greeting of all times: "Well done good and faithful servant! You have been faithful ... come and share your master's happiness." Matthew 25:21.

I dare you: Find a mom or dad in your church, in the store, in your workplace, in the doctor’s office. They are everywhere and they all love or need hugs. Give them one, tell them how special they are. You will enjoy the felling that follows.

As for my family, soon it will happen, probably Christmas Eve. With a candle in hand representing the love glowing in our hearts, we will stand at the peaceful resting place in Pearidge. And being the spiritual leader in our family (that's hard for me to believe too!), I will proudly give her the sweetest greeting from us:

"Mother, well done. We love and miss you. And I know it wasn't easy raising five children, especially when only one was perfect. (Yes she was and still is ... sorry Deezy). But you did your best and all of us are so very proud to say, ‘we love you Mama’ and never will a Christmas or day pass without us thanking God for having the greatest parents that ever lived.

“And most of all we are so glad Homer isn't singing blue Christmas this year. Heaven is happy for that too. One last thing, that was Ho Ho ho … Ho-mer in a Santa suit, right?”

Merry Christmas to all moms -- and dads -- here or in heaven. We love you. I hope you get many greetings and holiday hugs.

Jerry C. Thompson is from Branchville. He notes that this is dedicated to “my two very special moms -- Maude Collier Thompson, who changed her residence on Nov. 23, and Sue Godfrey, my mom from Florida who retreated to heaven on Dec. 10. We know your address: 777 Golden Highway, Mansion 8 & 9, Heaven. And we know he will keep the light shining to show us the way to you.”

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