Ok, this one's weird.

Ok, this one's weird.

Ok, this one's weird.

Happy Advent Season!
I am becoming something of an authority on unusual Christmas cards. All year long, people donate their partial boxes and singles and “thought- better-of-it" Christmas cards to the Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch Thrift Stores. Also, the cards from the 1950s and 60s they found in their Christmas decorations, or those left behind by Grandma. The good Ranchers at the Thrift Stores put the complete boxes or in other ways saleable ones into the queue to put out for the Christmas season. The rest go into special boxes for me and others at the Ranch to use as thank you cards in the month of December.
I love this system. Although we use cards with Ranch children's art on them the rest of the year, in December we get to send Christmas cards to wonderful donors all over the country. The cards get used, it is interesting when each one is different, and our friends know we are thinking of them and are grateful for them and their generosity.
Now, Christmas is about how our Lord sent His only Son to save us, and we celebrate His birth. However, you’d never know it from many of the cards. I have used cards featuring polar bears, dogs, cats, penguins, koalas, so many birds, and giant pandas. There are Santas and snowmen and sleighs and elves and plumbers (don’t ask!) and Christmas trees. “Happy Holidays” and “Merry Christmas” are in equal supply.
Sometimes I worry. I wonder if each card represents Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch where everything we do is in Christ’s name. I make sure to write, “Merry Christmas,” in every card that is missing it, alongside my message of gratitude.

And then I remember that all those animals, all those fables, all those types of celebrations are part of His world. They are all part of the beautiful creation He loves.
John 3:16 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” 
So I smile, and write my thanks.

In His love,

Joy Ryan, President/CEO
Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch


The Dollar Bill Lesson

A Very Special Thank You

Hard Work and Dedication

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