Good Tidings of Christmas Cheer

“Good Tidings of Christmas Cheer,” Liahona, Dec. 1999, 27–28

Good Tidings of Christmas Cheer

Although we had both been members of the Church since our teens, because of our Buddhist background, we didn’t have any Christmas traditions for our young family. Then, when the Tabernacle Choir performed in Japan in 1979, we became friends with choir member Mary K. Zackrison. That December and every December since, we have received copies of her family Christmas letter, the “Zackrison Gazette,” complete with Christmas messages, updates on her family, and information about important events in the Zackrisons’ lives.

The Zackrisons inspired us to develop a tradition of our own. The next year, we decided to take a picture of our children arranged in a Nativity scene to send out to friends and family. Starting the year after that, we began cutting out photographs of the children, which we arranged in various Christmas-related settings, and then taking another photograph of the whole scene to make into a card.

In the years since then, we have created cards of the shepherds hearing the angels’ tidings, of the Nativity, of the visit of the Wise Men, and so on. Our children have surprised us with their enthusiasm and creativity for these projects. We send cards each year to many family members, friends, and coworkers. Many of the recipients say they look forward to our cards every year.

Creating Christ-centered family traditions can be challenging, but it can also be a lot of fun. Last year we exchanged our 19th annual Christmas card with the 41st annual “Zackrison Gazette.”

Ken-ichi and Aiko Ishikawa,
Kasugai Ward, Nagoya Japan Stake