A card came in yesterday’s mail. I’ve shed my shame over holiday cards. I’ve developed a love and devotion to non-traditional, spurred by whimsy messages, sending pressed wildflowers to friends apropos of nothing, or buying exquisitely designed cards to send off in the hope that they might turn out to be little soldiers combatting the crippling doubt or worry that sometimes hit up even the best of us.

This card was in an envelope addressed in beautiful writing to The Magees. The girls, having collected the mail an hour before I arrived home, were chomping at the bit to open it.

“Look, mom. It has a Harry Potter sticker!”

I laughed and set aside the pizza dough that was not cooperating. “Ok, let’s do this. Open it up!”

The envelope pulled away to reveal a letterpressed card declaring Happy Everything, which I now want to make my forever phrase for the holidays. I love its openness and jolly in a not-Santa-specific way, yet not clubbing me with a pcness. I digress.

The girls looked at the smiling faces shining out from the card. Briar wondered aloud who they were. I smiled. How do you explain someone your family has never met, but who has loved them? A person who has wept, laughed, and cheered them on steadfastly through the years?

“They’re friends of mine,” I said as I looked at my writing friend sitting in a front-porch-huddle-hug with her husband, daughter, and son. They looked happy, like they’d knock on the door any minute to toss lacrosse balls in the backyard.

Avery looked at me, “So, he’s a single dad with three kids?”

I snorted. “Honey, that’s the mom right there.” She did a Hollywood double take and then her cheeks flamed. We all laughed.

It was perfect.

Tiny moments will get us through it all.